Radio Free Hub City loves to investigate, and this time of year, Bauce Boring wanted to know if the legend of Santa was too antiquated for modern times. Members of national group Sixx Cool Moms were asked if children in their homes believe in Santa, and if so, in what capacity.
An overwhelming majority of parents raising young children report that Santa is part of their household’s holiday tradition, even if their family does not celebrate the traditional Christian Christmas. Years ago, an overwhelming majority of children believed Santa was the magical entity that crept down the chimney to place gifts under the tree for kids that had been on their best behavior over the past year. Winding up on the Naughty List to receive nothing but a few lumps of coal was a perilous possibility. How has the tale of Santa been adapted for little ones in 2022? The Cool Moms had the inside scoop!
Some parents say that older family members carried on the tradition. Ann from Hagerstown reports that her own mother retold the magic tale to her son. Others cite a child’s school friends’ belief, not wanting their child to spoil the fun for others. “A.K” from Northern Virginia said “We do. My kids love the magic. They love all things fairy, magical.. we do it up for them, the st Patrick’s day elves, the elf on a shelf… They asked why she didn’t come to our house so we made up a thing that Santa heard and now she’s here being tricksy. They claim to believe in Big Foot and other cryptids, that toys and decor come alive when they sleep. Their imagination is huge, and as they grow older they’ll maybe be less magical, maybe not. Plenty of adults believe in fairies. To each their own beliefs.” Heather from Carroll County, MD says her household is not religious, so Santa allows her children something fantastic to believe in and celebrate during the holiday season.
Others chimed in to explain how they’ve adapted the Santa tradition to be considerate and inclusive of other children during tough economic situations. Mom Jenny reports that in her home, Santa brings practical gifts like clothes, books, and toothbrushes so that her children don’t excitedly tell their friends Santa brought a big ticket item like a gaming system that could make the other children feel left out if they did not receive an expensive item. Many parents, like Heather from Riverside, California say large expensive items are credited to the family member that purchased the item. Lisa from Carroll County, MD says she did not want to, but adults at daycare and older family members made a believer out of her child, doesn’t want to dash the magic, but she would prefer her kids to know that gifts cost money, and adults have to work very hard to furnish gifts during the holidays and other special occasions.
On the flip side, some have chosen not to perpetuate the Santa story at all. Marisa from Washington County, MD says that she teaches her little ones that Santa is not real, but it’s fun to pretend, and encourages them not to spoil the fun for peers that believe wholeheartedly. S.R. from Riverside, California says that she thought her children would feel betrayed when they got older and realized Santa was more myth than reality, which may damage her children’s trust when it comes to other very real topics. She goes on to say she’s experienced other children acting bratty or entitled because they think gifts appear out of thin air each year. Perpetuating the tradition of a gift bringing Santa can feed into materialism and hurt the feelings of children whose families do not celebrate Christmas or cannot afford expensive playthings. As a household that does have religious beliefs, she’d rather her children focus on “the reason for the season.”
Radio Free Hub City will be revealing our first Official Santa on December 1, 2022. Santa is going to bring fun information about local businesses and charitable causes near and dear to Hub City residents. We truly thank the members of Sixx Cool Moms for their help and input with this article, and local parents wanting to find a local or special interest chapter can check the link above to get started! Sixx Cool Moms is an inclusive and supportive group, a safe and judgement free zone, and we appreciate the hundreds of responses we received for this article! We now see that there are MANY ways to celebrate the holiday season with small children, and will be providing follow-up articles for household traditions for other seasonal celebrations, like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa- stay tuned!