Open Letter To My Kids About Santa Claus
December 6, 2011 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Open Letter To My Kids About Santa Claus
A letter to my grade school kids about transitioning from a belief in Santa Claus to a more mature belief in Santa Claus (from a Christian perspective). Offered as some help to other parents with kids at this stage.

This isn't really a project in the sense of the other good work posted here. And I really don't care if you read it or visit my blog. But I've had some grateful feedback from other parents who were trying to find words like these for their kids. So this is offered for whatever help it gives you.
Role: parent, author
posted by cross_impact (1 comment total)

Wow. A lot to unpack there. I appreciate you sharing it.

You may also be interested in this TAL episode discussing the essential invention of Christmas as we know it culturally (not religiously) today. You and your kids may be surprised how recently it occurred: 1822.
"And who do we have to thank for the whole thing? A bunch of ... aristocratic rich guys who all agreed there were big big problems with the entire American experiment. [They] were very suspicious of democracy, modern capitalism, Thomas Jefferson. The middle classes were taking over the city commercially and politically. [At Christmas] there was a lot of public rowdyness, it was celebrated the way we celebrate New Year's Eve now. Riotous noisemaking, massive public drunkenness.

They set out to create new traditions they hoped might replace all this debauchery. Starting around 1810, they tried to convince people that a certain 4th century Catholic saint, St. Nicholas, was in fact the patron saint of New York... and tried to make his Saint's Day, December 6th, into a regular holiday on the island of Manhattan. But it was just not catching on. ... And then, in 1822, Clement Clark Moore changes everything when he writes a poem beginning: "T'was the night before Christmas, when all through the house..."

What he did was he transformed St. Nicholas utterly. No longer is he a dignified Bishop... takes him out of the aristocracy and into the middle class. A perfect hero for the new nation. The aristocrats got their way, they killed the noisy version of Christmas.
You can read more about this in Stephen Nissenbaum's The Battle for Christmas.
posted by odinsdream at 1:18 PM on December 6, 2011

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