Don’t destroy the joys of Christmas time

Matt Muenzberg, staff writer

The memories of waking up Christmas morning, running downstairs to wake up my parents, and blissfully entering my family room to see what Santa brought down the chimney will always be cherished. While these memories were some of the best parts of my childhood, it hurts to think about the fact that some children won’t experience these memories as long as others because their parents force them to grow up too fast.

There are many fun and helpful things that kids do based on the fact that Santa exists. They go to the mall and tell Santa what they want, they leave out cookies for him, and they even alter their behavior to make sure they don’t get a lump of coal in their stocking.

Another reason that parents should wait as long as possible to tell their kids the truth about Santa is that even if they feel that their kids are ready, not everyone their age is. As soon as one kid at school is told the truth, each child on that kid’s bus goes running home to ask their parents, wondering what’s real and what’s not.

When I was in fourth grade, my parents told me through a book that explains to children the truth about Santa. I think breaking the news this way gets the point across better than just throwing the truth out there at an early age.

I agree that parents must break the saddening truth at some point. It would be ridiculous for a kid to enter high school not knowing that their brand new Xbox came from their parents and not an overweight bearded man at the top of the globe.

But until they are ready, and that might be later than most parents would like to think, let the kids enjoy living the fairy tale that is Santa Claus. There is nothing wrong with being a kid.

Many times, parents think their kids are older than they really are and try to make them grow up faster than they need to. Instead, in these days of kids being over-exposed, we should help these kids keep at least that one little piece of their childhood as long as possible.