Conversations about Santa
As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I’d like to address the question of how I handle it when children who are not my own as me if Santa Claus exists.
I know that not all parents agree with my philosophy and I’m not going to try and trump them, so when a child asks me about Santa, I generally try to avoid the question.
This doesn’t always work.
Below are two examples (to the best of my recollection) of situations where I was pushed to give an answer. In many people’s eyes, these won’t make me look very good, but at the time I had trouble seeing any other way out of the situations.
Example #1: Non-religious family; seven-year-old child
Child: Do you believe in Santa?
Me: Well, I think it would be better if you asked [Parent] about that.
Parent: It’s okay. You can go ahead.
Me (to Parent): You sure?
Me (to Child). Okay. Well, Santa Claus is a nice story that we tell around Christmas. He’s not a real person, but we all pretend that he is because it’s fun. It’s like a big game that everyone plays together.
Example #2: Very religious family; ten-year-old child
Parent (to me): Someone at school told [Child] that Santa isn’t real and she won’t listen to me about it. Would you talk to her?
Me: I don’t think that I’m the right person to ask about that.
Parent (to child): Come over here a minute. [Me] has something to tell you.
Me (to child): I hear that you’ve been wondering about whether Santa Claus is real.
Child: I heard at school that he wasn’t.
Me: Well, what does [Parent] say?
Child: That he’s real.
Me: Do you think that [Parent] would ever lie to you?
Me: All right then. You go think about that. Okay?
In: Atheists' problems · Tagged with: Christmas, Santa Claus