Quote from Thursday's episode of Without a Trace. Santa images from vintage advertisements. I prefer the second icon because the point is not that Santa is a God stand-in who is accusing you of being on the Bad List (which is what I feel like the first icon is implying) but rather that Santa is a lie. And really, neither of these icons gets that across sufficiently, but I haven't figured out a way to get across what I want in icon format.
[For those of you just tuning in: I have serious issues with lying to your children and hate the commercialization/secularization of Xmas anyhow.] And yes I know, spirit of giving and all that, lots of people have fond magical memories of Santa, etc. etc. I am restraining myself from demanding that everyone drop the Santa thing and have an appropriately spiritual observance (or observe Consumalata instead) and people are welcome to discuss in the comments or in personal e-mail, though I'm not likely to change my mind on the issue.
If you wish to raise your children with the story of St. Nicholas and do Christmas stockings and participate in things like Toys for Tots and Angel Tree, explaining all the while that we do these things in the spirit of St. Nicholas/Jesus Christ/the 3 Wise Men/whomever, then I am full of encouragement -- though okay, upon consideration, it still bugs me a little bit, because the idea of setting aside specific dates for gift-giving bothers me; but I am so all about intentionality, so if you are being thoughtful about what you're doing I'll probably be okay. But handing your children presents with tags saying "from Santa" and encouraging them to leave out cookies and milk for a red-suited man . . . that makes me homicidal.
[A post more receptive to fond Santa memories is here.]
1:50am -- Edited a whole bunch of times and now I'm going to bed.
Sunday at 12:42pm: Edited to add my personal Santa background:
My parents absolutely hate lying to their children, so they were always wishy-washy around the issue of Santa Claus. All of our presents had the giver's name on them, and we knew Mommy filled our stockings (since the bulk of it was baked goods we'd been watching her make for the past month). Once my grandma gave us placemats with a "from Santa" tag on the wrapping, but basically as soon as we opened them she said they were from her. I really wanted there to be a Santa Claus for the kids whose parents couldn't afford to buy them presents but saw no need for Santa Claus to come to my house. I don't remember any specific moment of knowing Santa wasn't real, but I suspected quite early.
I know most people grow out of the Santa belief non-traumatically, but it feels to me like you're setting yourself/your kid up for such potential trauma and why do that? Especially because I grew up with consistency being one of my dad's biggest things (credible threat and all that) so I feel like, "Well if you lied to your kid about this thing, why do they have any reason to believe you're not lying about other things?"