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Author Topic: I believe in Santa  (Read 11320 times)
Thevail
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« Topic Start: December 16, 2010, 03:24:17 am »

No, I really do! I think Santa May be the world's leading religion actually.

He's sacred in nearly every culture across the world.

No one hates Santa, mention him and everyone smiles.

We are taught as children to believe in him, and our parents are always sad the year we lose our faith in him.

Santa brings joy and presents to good little girls and boys.

But he doesn't "punish" people for being naughty, he just doesn't reward you for bad behavior.

You grow in the faith of Santa, from believer's as small children, to protector's of other small children's innocence when we are teen-agers, to acolytes of Santa who spread  joy and cheer in his name each year on his sacred day.

His sacred symbols are snowflakes and bells, his sacred animal, the reindeer, his sacred suit is more recognizable than the papal robes.

But even more importantly..
Deep down, we believe, not because we will go to hell, or die alone if we do not, but out of pure faith, the desire to believe in something awesome and magical and good. And if enough people believe... that gives a deity power. (otherwise what is magic anyway)

So I believe in Santa.. do you?


« Last Edit: December 16, 2010, 03:42:08 am by Thevail » Logged

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« Reply #1: December 16, 2010, 04:44:39 am »

No, I really do! I think Santa May be the world's leading religion actually.

He's sacred in nearly every culture across the world.

You're aware that you just skipped over every non-Western culture, right? There are a ton of cultures that don't celebrate Christmas, nevermind believe in Santa Claus. I'm in a Western country - the Netherlands - and Santa Claus has only started to become a bit of a thing here over the last decade or so. Traditionally, Sinterklaas - St. Nicholas - is a far more important figure here.

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« Reply #2: December 16, 2010, 07:54:51 am »

.You grow in the faith of Santa, from believer's as small children, to protector's of other small children's innocence when we are teen-agers, to acolytes of Santa who spread  joy and cheer in his name each year on his sacred day.

Actually... when I found out that my parents (and the rest of society) had been actively lying to me about where my presents come from, all I wanted to do was rush out and tell my younger brother and cousins to keep them from believing in a lie. What hurt more was my aunt and mother telling me that I was selfish for wanting to do this and if they as mothers chose to lie to their kids, it was their prerogative. I don't see this as protecting their "innocence". I see this as lying.

Should I have children, they most certainly will not be told the Santa myth as fact.

I mean, absolute kudos that you've got all these positive feelings built up around Santa and this time of year. A lot of us don't.
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« Reply #3: December 16, 2010, 08:07:12 am »

Actually... when I found out that my parents (and the rest of society) had been actively lying to me about where my presents come from, all I wanted to do was rush out and tell my younger brother and cousins to keep them from believing in a lie. What hurt more was my aunt and mother telling me that I was selfish for wanting to do this and if they as mothers chose to lie to their kids, it was their prerogative. I don't see this as protecting their "innocence". I see this as lying.

Should I have children, they most certainly will not be told the Santa myth as fact.

I mean, absolute kudos that you've got all these positive feelings built up around Santa and this time of year. A lot of us don't.

I think a lot of it is how it's done, too.  I knew from a young age that "Santa" was really Mom, and ... I never felt disillusioned.  Hell, I still believe in Santa as a concept. Cheesy

Right now my son has learned that Santa hands out assignments to other people, too.  I'm working for Santa to make someone else happy and that's the COOLEST THING EVER.

But if Santa's used as a club .. or otherwise done in a way that it's a massive lie .. yeah, that can be ugly.
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« Reply #4: December 16, 2010, 08:13:17 am »

He's sacred in nearly every culture across the world.

Many non-western cultures are only aware of Santa because of of US influence (Hollywood, relationships with American businesses, tourism, etc.) Many western cultures don't really have the US version of Santa either, they have a local version of the being who delivers presents -- often without little in common with the US Santa Claus (Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Sinter Klaas, etc. Not to mention a witch-like woman, La Befana, in Italy.)

Quote
No one hates Santa, mention him and everyone smiles.

What about The Grinch?  Grin

Quote
But he doesn't "punish" people for being naughty, he just doesn't reward you for bad behavior.

Some versions leave coal or sticks to "bad" children.
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« Reply #5: December 16, 2010, 08:28:40 am »

Many non-western cultures are only aware of Santa because of of US influence (Hollywood, relationships with American businesses, tourism, etc.) Many western cultures don't really have the US version of Santa either, they have a local version of the being who delivers presents -- often without little in common with the US Santa Claus (Father Christmas, Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle, Sinter Klaas, etc. Not to mention a witch-like woman, La Befana, in Italy.)

What about The Grinch?  Grin

Some versions leave coal or sticks to "bad" children.


Yes, to all of this.  A big chunk of Santa Claus beliefs give him a helper who punishes (especially if Santa is figured as Saint Nicholas), or have Santa himself do so.  It's only really in the modern US that Santa DOESN'T punish -- that's not going to see more toys, people!
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« Reply #6: December 16, 2010, 12:39:39 pm »

Some versions leave coal or sticks to "bad" children.


While the sticks/switches would be a punishment, during the period when the coal part of the legend became prominent, it was many families' primary form of heat. So even the kids who didn't "deserve" to get what they wanted would still get what they needed.
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« Reply #7: December 16, 2010, 01:30:11 pm »

I think a lot of it is how it's done, too.  I knew from a young age that "Santa" was really Mom, and ... I never felt disillusioned.  Hell, I still believe in Santa as a concept. Cheesy

Right now my son has learned that Santa hands out assignments to other people, too.  I'm working for Santa to make someone else happy and that's the COOLEST THING EVER.

I'm reminded of a friend's comment:  "Of course I believe in the Tooth Fairy.  I AM the Tooth Fairy!"
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« Reply #8: December 16, 2010, 01:36:22 pm »

I think a lot of it is how it's done, too.  I knew from a young age that "Santa" was really Mom, and ... I never felt disillusioned.  Hell, I still believe in Santa as a concept. Cheesy

I don't remember "losing my faith" in Santa or asking my dad if Santa was real because Santa was always "the spirit of Christmas" in our household, not an actual guy who actually delivered toys. I, too, knew that "Santa" was my parents, but I've always believed in Santa anyway. I remember getting excited when my parents told me I could act as Santa for my brothers and put their presents under the tree on Christmas Eve when they went to bed (but I couldn't do my own presents 'cause it doesn't quite work if you're your own Santa). Santa always leaves us presents, too, even now that we're all "officially" adults. (this year, though, Santa is sticking to our stockings; this economy's hard on everyone)

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« Reply #9: December 16, 2010, 02:50:33 pm »

I think a lot of it is how it's done, too.  I knew from a young age that "Santa" was really Mom, and ... I never felt disillusioned. 

And sometimes it just depends on the kid, I think.  When my mom told me, I felt like I'd been let in on a secret, almost like I'd been initiated into an adult Mystery (not that I could have expressed it that way at the time).  It *was* sort of club-ish, I guess, but it never really occurred to me to think of it in terms of "they've been lying to me".  I could guess at any number of reasons why I reacted that way, but... ultimately I think it might just be a case of "different kids react in different ways".

Although, to come back to the point that started this branch--no, not everyone does grow in faith and etc., etc., etc.  Nor is it true that no one hates Santa, even in cultures where he's a major figure (such as the US); I know several people who find the Santa-figure a symbol of all the worst things about Christmas, the crass commercialism and so forth.  And then there are the people who strenuously object to Christmas having a secular component at all and see Santa as a symbol of the de-Christianization (it's a word now) of the holiday.

Do I, personally, have strong sentimental feelings about Santa?  Hell yes.  But I also recognize that my feelings on the matter are far from universal.  And even my own positive feelings are far from religious in nature.  It's...  I mean, I get where the OP is coming from, but it's just not something I can agree with.
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« Reply #10: December 16, 2010, 02:58:02 pm »

So I believe in Santa.. do you?

Well, actually no.
I prefer the Hogfather. Wink
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« Reply #11: December 16, 2010, 05:19:11 pm »

And sometimes it just depends on the kid, I think.  When my mom told me, I felt like I'd been let in on a secret, almost like I'd been initiated into an adult Mystery (not that I could have expressed it that way at the time).  It *was* sort of club-ish, I guess, but it never really occurred to me to think of it in terms of "they've been lying to me".  I could guess at any number of reasons why I reacted that way, but... ultimately I think it might just be a case of "different kids react in different ways".

I had a bit of both. I never "believed" in Santa. I knew he brought gifts, and was apparently watching me, but I think I thought it was just mostly a story. I'd ask my parents questions (like the chimney one -- I knew we had what looked like a chimney, but it never led to a fireplace), and they never really answered it to my satisfaction. Lol. One Christmas Eve I had gone upstairs before Santa was supposed to come out (my Grandpa did this) and I saw him putting on his Santa jacket, and then the last vestiges of the Santa myth fell away when they told me not to say anything to my younger brother. So that's where the whole felt like I was being initiated into an Adult Mystery bit came in.
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« Reply #12: December 16, 2010, 05:53:27 pm »



I saw Santa in Ireland. The Irish dug him up when he was buried somewhere else during the Crusades and then they transported him overseas and planted him in a sheep field by a little chapel near Kilkenny.

S'truth!

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« Reply #13: December 16, 2010, 06:07:20 pm »

So that's where the whole felt like I was being initiated into an Adult Mystery bit came in.

Different kids responding differently indeed. I've had several bad experiences with learning the "secrets" of growing up, and none of them have made me feel like I'm in on something I'm proud of.

Also... trying really hard not to derail the topic completely. ^^; I have an issue with people being initiated into things they don't choose or can't understand at the time. It's one thing if you approach a religious path with the understanding that there are some things you just won't get until you've been initiate and experienced the Mystery of the faith. And it's another thing too to grow up out of childhood innocence and learn about death, poverty, lying, etc. For me, because I was unwillingly and unknowingly tossed into this "Adult Mystery" and told how to assimilate it into my life, I've got nothing but resentment for the Santa myth.
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« Reply #14: December 16, 2010, 07:30:39 pm »

One Christmas Eve I had gone upstairs before Santa was supposed to come out (my Grandpa did this) and I saw him putting on his Santa jacket,

My brother in law decided to dress up as Santa one Christmas hoping to give his three-year old daughter a treat.  He made noise in the living-room putting presents under the tree and my sister brought her out to see what was going on. 

My niece's reaction?  She didn't see through the rest of the costume, but she started scolding this stranger for wearing her daddy's boots. Cheesy

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