Good Afternoon, readers! Lens of The People is a column dedicated to the capture of the real-life scenarios and events of the local Houston area whilst also giving the thoughts and opinions of the Houston community itself its own voice to speak through.
Many holidays traditionally have had myths and fairytales that go along with them, such as the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. Many parents tell their children about these stories and fictional characters at a young age, and while it may stoke their innocence, some would argue that it could be blinding them from the legitimate concepts or origins of the holidays, an adopted ignorance that could go on well into adulthood even after they know the truth. There’s also the fact that, while it may be in the name of protecting innocence and making the holidays more “fun,” you’re still essentially lying to children. So the question of the week is: From a moral standpoint, how do you feel about lying to kids about things like Santa Claus?
“I think that when parents tell their kids that Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are real, they are doing so with the intent to drive their kids into a fantasy world they may have once been driven into as a kid. That’s probably something the parent once valued as a kid. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to lie to your kids about these things because these mythical people and experiences allows a kid to wonder beyond what the world holds and ultimately drive their imagination that could go on to lead to tremendous creations.“-Shun Brisby
“When I think about the holidays I think about traditions we had growing up. I don’t remember getting fooled too much by the Easter Bunny. I just remember going to church and hunting for eggs which later on I found out bunnies don’t lay eggs but chickens do. As for Christmas, my husband is really big on letting our four-year- old know mommy and daddy worked hard to put the gifts under the tree, not Santa. So I started a new tradition called Elf on the Shelf, who is a worker elf that reports to Santa whether or not the kid is naughty or nice. It still keeps my son excited for the season while knowing momma and daddy get the gifts.”-Tomei Richard
“I feel like depriving kids of truth is morally wrong. Although we tell white lies, kids should be able to enjoy the innocence of the holidays without feeling the pressure of the real world. I can speak from personal experience. My mom told me at an early age that there was no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny and “All my money bought these gifts.” Knowing this almost took away the fun from the holiday. Not wrapping presents and running to go to bed to see what Santa Claus brought you this year. Kids should be allowed the innocence of a normal childhood.”-Tremayne Palmer
“Well, it’s all about imagination. For a child, they grow up watching and hearing these stereotypes of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and even the Tooth Fairy. They hear so many things about how these fictional characters will visit and bring them a gift of some sort IF they do good, when in reality it’s like a bribe. For an adult, they use these fictional characters to influence their children to do things that they are already supposed to do. In the end, it is wrong because everyone gets their hopes up and lives on lies that will lead to more explanations in the future.”-Crystal Mitchell
“No, I don’t think it is wrong at all. Having something to believe in to make reality magical, especially in the times we’re in, keeps the innocence and adventurous part of children that is sorely needed.” -Kim Landry
On a moral basis, I don’t think that telling kids about fake characters such as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny is right at all. I believe that even when done for the purpose of “maintaining innocence,” that parents just aren’t being 100% honest with themselves in regards to their intentions. In a lot of scenarios, I’ve seen Santa Claus and other fictional characters being used as a means of pacifying, which only serves as a barrier for legitimate understanding of the world around them. For example, the entire idea that Santa Claus only gives presents to “nice” children just conveys a conversation parents simply don’t want to have with their children. Nobody wants to tell their children that they simply couldn’t afford a gift, or that the gift that they want is simply out of reach for them, but in my eyes I feel that this is a necessity. I think that parents simply have to find a way to convey the reality of their own individual situations without completely trampling on the fun of the holidays. For Christmas in particular, children should not have the mindset of expecting rewards for being good and doing what their parents say, but should understand the spirit of giving overall, and that there are some things you can give people that don’t cost anything at all.
This was Lens of The People, a column dedicated to giving the Houston community a voice and a platform. Stay on the lookout for more, all made possible by The Forward Times!