I hate Santa Claus…REALLY????

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by Kenneth Justice

~ Yesterday was December 1st and even before I arrived to the coffee house I knew what the conversation was going to be; Santa Claus. Every year when December 1st rolls into town, like clockwork, the conversation over Santa Claus roars into the coffee shop like a noisy sleigh being pulled by magical bell wearing reindeer.

Some people really hate Santa Claus and some people really love Santa Claus.

—-) “Why in this day and age would we want to parade around our children a fat piece of lard wearing a red jumper?! We might as well teach our children to eat cookies as snacks and fat burgers for breakfast lunch and dinner!!” said one concerned mother of three (she’s a big proponent in the anti-fast food movement and teaching children to eat healthy if you didn’t notice by her comments).

—-) “I believe Santa Claus is a great tradition to teach our children” said a late twenty-something father of a three year old, “Children need traditions and Santa Claus is pure innocent fun. He is a great reminder to children that the holiday is about giving and not receiving” he said

—-) “I did NOT teach my children to believe in Santa Claus; I wanted them to trust me so I never lied to them about some mystical elf who lives in the artic and loves for children to bounce around on his lap. Of course I taught my children to be respectful of others and they didn’t let the cat out of the bag when it came to their friends; but my children were raised to be 21st century adults!” said a sixty something retired father of three

Personally, I love Christmas, and Hanukkah, and pretty much every other holiday on the calendar. If you’ve read any of my articles you know how much I value traditions and passing them down to younger generations. Hell, my entire daily routine is one long tradition; each morning I go to coffee, read the news, write in my journal, write a little article for my blog, and try to clear my mind for the day ahead.

I love traditions. Whether it’s the ceremonial “Play ball” yelled by an umpire at a ball game, Brazil’s Naked Sunday Soccer game tradition (not what you think), the tradition of lighting advent candles during Christmas, or simply my little tradition of coffee every morning…..I LOVE traditions.

I also love conversation. I love that people enjoy arguing over Santa Claus. I’m not talking about heated arguments that end with a halberd deathblow to the skull, but the innocent arguments of jovial holiday fare.

We live in a day-and-age where arguments and disagreements are frowned upon; people get offended so easily. I’m not sure what perpetuated this current condition of people getting so angry if you disagree with them. This past year I wrote a series of articles about scientists and my concern that they aren’t always practicing good science and one would have thought that I was declaring jihad on science; my email box was filled to overflowing with hate mail from scientists who were incensed that I dare question their conclusions.

Why do people get offended so easily?

Perhaps I’m living in the dark ages but I actually believe it is healthy to disagree. It helps us to grow as individuals and deepens our ability to look at ideas and situations from different perspectives. I was always taught that people who only hang out with similar minded clusters are living in cults, and I tend to agree.

I don’t want a cadre of friends and colleagues that agree with me on every jot and tittle. So I’m always thankful for so many in my life who aren’t afraid to speak their mind, and I’m always sad for those who live in cloisters where they have shut out everyone in their life who disagrees.

As far as Santa Claus goes, I do believe in Santa Claus Virginia, he visit’s my coffee house every year in December and drinks a Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,

Kenneth



Categories: Culture & Society

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29 replies

  1. We chose not to bring our kids up in the Santa Claus tradition because it had so overwhelmed the real meaning of Christmas.

  2. Perhaps the anger you see is a manifestation of (a) heightened economic pressures, and (b) the tendency to seek 2-minute gratifications in life.

  3. The real meaning of Christmas is kind of heavy… Romans, persecution, save us from sin and death, a leader. Santa Claus and his elves is a lot lighter, lights up the imagination… and ‘suffers the little children’. I wonder if Jesus would have minded?

  4. Disagreement has spurred conversation for my students, my friends, and my family. It does seem to me that there are certain people who feel they have to convince others of their way. But as I have seen quoted,”A man convinced against his will is if the same opinion still.” Many people say they understand the concept that different isn’t necessarily wrong but they have yet to believe it.

  5. If I have children, I will tell them the truth about Santa but also not to disclose it to others. Now, my parents led me to believe in Santa, and I am not scarred for life because of it, but personally I would feel it wrong to deceive my children.

  6. Since my son didn’t ‘get’ who Santa Claus was or even what Christmas was (he’s autistic), I was able to skip Santa entirely. Don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad, but that’s how it was.

    I agree with you about people disagreeing. I don’t want everyone to agree with me on everything either. How would we ever learn new perspectives that way? Actually, how would we ever learn much of anything if everyone thought the same?

  7. I won’t argue about Santa with you. Is arguing the same as “to disagree?” LOL. I love conversations and the best ones, rather like good book club discussions, occur when disagreement exists and each is able to explore the reasons why. I adore this dynamic.

  8. I absolutely love reading your blog entries! …and I believe in Santa.

  9. science lives a vast bubble of hubris . . . Santa Clause is as real as a lot of their theory . . . and far less dangerous . . .

  10. Out of everything out there that we can be upset about, Santa Claus must be near the bottom of the list. My parents were pretty practical folks and didn’t really push much Santa belief on me — maybe when I was very young, but I don’t recall thinking much about him after I was about 7 or so. I do remember that I loved that big brightly illustrated “Night Before Christmas” book that my mom used to read to me from every year on Christmas eve — I don’t know what happened to that old book, but I would love to find it.

  11. Ok Kenneth, you got me here:
    “Brazil’s Naked Sunday Soccer game tradition (not what you think)”
    –I don’t get it? Sunday soccer definitely. From 4-6pm. Just after the afternoon movie on Globo channel. But naked?
    🙂

  12. It’s interesting in a culture that insists on moral relativity that people can be so black and white about their own beliefs that they can’t handle someone disagreeing with them. There are no absolutes until you say I am wrong…. then I’m absolutely right and you are morally reprehensible for accusing me of a mistake!

  13. I agree with disagreeing. 🙂 It’s important to have different points of view for sure. I’m not sure it’s good to get so angry or to have arguments exactly; discussions yes, arguments no. I think some of why people get SO agitated is they believe so strongly in something that the idea of difference is difficult to accept. In the case of the scientists you mentioned, I think some of that is because science has been under SO MUCH scrutiny and totally ignored by many political figures or just flat misused that after a while a person can handle being “polite” in their disagreements for so long before it’s just offensive to them and they have strong reactions to the next person who says something. At least that seems to me to be why it’s reached a boiling point. It may be new to you but those folks may have felt under scrutiny for a long enough period they feel they have a legit reason for “blowing up” if you will. I think all of us have been in that position. I have found myself getting more angry quicker about people disagreeing with me about things but again I think I fall in the category of just being so passionate about certain topics that I temporarily forget my “manners” if you will. To be fair, it also depends on how the other person is talking in a certain debate. If the other person is talking in a manner that feels demeaning, condescending or patronizing then yes, he or she probably will get an angry response. I think many people have lost the art of conversation and have forgotten how to be tactful when expressing their opinions so it tends to put people off. So many people are not remotely careful with their words. They just want to say what they want without any regard for consequences. People forget there are ways of saying what they want effectively but also without being super offensive. Just some thoughts. Have a good day! 🙂

  14. Sure Santa has some health issues and he’s a bit conditional on showing love (naughty/nice list) but you got to love him. I mean, he’s so…jolly. What’s not to like about that?

    We taught our kids about the original St.Nick who was a 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra. He was a real person and performed many miracles involving helping children, which is how the legend got started.

    Anyway, I’m not taking a chance on going on the naughty list. I’m backing Santa. 🙂

  15. You don’t have to blindly agree with everything, as long as you respect other people’s choices, beliefs, etc. Nothing wrong with an innocent argument about Santa Claus or any other topic. Discussions can definitely sharpen our mind and let us look at things from a different perspective.

  16. I love Santa, and I never lied to my son, he always knew that Santa was the embodiment of the Christmas spirit 🙂 Yesterday a blogger posted a blog about how we should give presents on a different day, following other European traditions so that Christmas day could focus on Christ. “Bring Christ back to Christmas”, and I said that wasn’t happening in my household! And I’d totally respect his decision to celebrate differently, but I’m totaling going secular and exchanging as many presents as I can – because I’m able to do both – exchange presents and still celebrate the birth of Jesus… and He was really born in like March, so I’m good. 🙂 But, the writer responded positively to the comment and it was nice to talk and not worry about someone getting offended!

  17. I am reading Crucial Conversations so I won’t be such a know-it-all pain in the neck. I AM an anti-Santa person, but I agree that most Santa conversations are pretty light.

  18. It’s the joy of tradition.
    The place where the real and unreal blend into one big smile… and even the adults let down their guard and play. Sometimes it is a good thing not to take life so seriously.
    http://storieswithnobooks.com/2013/12/18/super-hero-reindeer-man/

  19. Great story! Thanks for sharing. I taught my kids to believe in Santa but also about the Christian story as well. We kept up the Santa story until the kids were old enough to start asking questions. Like, “is there a Santa Claus?” To which I would reply, “what do you think?” And I would agree with their answer and ask them why? Everyone needs some mystery and magic in their life.

  20. I feel sick when parents lie to their children about Santa Claus. My mother never taught me that and I am glad. If she had, I probably would not listen to her at all now.

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