If you’re sensitive about religion, go read Family Circus. The following post is not for you.
Question for my Christian brothers: What’s the deal with Santa?
It’s really been bothering me. It’s not because you’re lying to your kids. There are plenty of acceptable reasons to do that (Mommy and I are just wrestling, sweetie, go back to bed). It’s because I don’t understand why you’re lying to your kids.
Why the subterfuge? You’re giving your kid presents for crying out loud! Gifts! Loot! Why give the credit to some jolly fat guy in a robe? Santa doesn’t have to give them a time-out, or tell them not to run with scissors, or work overtime and sell his sperm just to afford that new video game system for them. Why should he get all the love?
The question puzzled me. But, with a bit of research* I’ve managed to deduce how all this “Santa Claus” business got started.
About 1500 years ago, in ancient Sumeria, there was a tradition that families would celebrate surviving the winter solstice by giving gifts to one another. It’s my belief that shortly after the tradition was started (like five minutes after), a child asked for an absurd present from their parents. Their own camel, for example. At this point, the parents knew they were screwed.
On the morning of the gift exchange, the child woke up, received their stuffed camel, and promptly threatened their parents with lawsuits, death, and tell-all-books. It was at this moment the wisdom of the ancients became apparent. “It wasn’t us” said the parents, “all winter-solstice gifts are given by the great Sana Claus. We asked him to give you a camel- a REAL one-but he must have gotten it wrong. The jerk.”
Over the years, of course, the mythical figure became more and more hateful. “He wears a red suit, the color of Satan”. “He’s fat, and everyone knows fat people suck”. “He laughs all the time, and he never feels bad for giving you socks wrapped inside a PS3 box”. Simply put, I think Santa was created as a scapegoat.
Sure, sometimes Santa got credit for the good presents. But that was an acceptable loss, considering he was always there to take the heat when there were clothes under the tree. And so, one more religious mystery solved.
Except, my theory still doesn’t explain Easter. You give chocolate, for crap’s sake! How could you possibly go wrong with that? And what’s with the Eggs? Just stick some Godiva under their pillow and wait for the store-bought love!
*Absolute horseshit. I can assure you that no research of any kind went into this theory. I was a religion/anthropology minor in college. Which lets me assure you with great authority that any similarity to actual history or tradition in this post is purely accidental.