A child's winter tragedy

Posted by I'm the penguin | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, December 20, 2009

As we know, the greatest tragedy of western culture middle class children around the world is Christmas: The family gatherings, the long nights and at last the present receiving, and in the long run the lethal strike of truth that will make all the previous banish.

Come to think of it Santa might just be a greater damage than it is a surprise. But anyways, that's our very own way of thinking less of children and convincing them of a greater force in shape of an old man who can create things out of thin air, yes I'm still referring to Santa.

I don't know about you but this great tragedy came to me also with the plot device of -enlongment of truth time- which was extending the lie to its last consequences so the main character (me, us) never knows the truth which will end the story. In that way parents love to tell stories. Anyway the thing about this is what kind of things they tell you so you believe.

Sure, it's easy to tell a child at first that presents appear from thin air and that a fat man gets to everyone's homes in one single night and ironically gives more presents to the rich and nothing to the poor (the irony being that this man is said to be a philanthropist). I mean children believe babies come from birds, fairies/mouses profit from teeth and just about any story containing a fantastic character. But the rough part comes when they start asking questions. why? why? why? Their first fat mistake.

And since it is only human to want children live on with the fantasy, you keep feeding the flame of fantasy and scientific confusion, Santa can do everything, he has magic abilities. But then if they keep asking most parents will say (and now this is the whole point of the post)
"If you don't believe in Santa then he won't bring you any presents, that's why children who say he doesn't exist don't receive any gifts from him."
And that is truly the child's greatest tragedy.

Because after this, as a child now you are under the believe that if by mistake you stop believing in this very suspicious old man you will be punished by having no presents in Christmas, and this by definition breaks the dogma of happy Christmas forever. So what do you do? You keep believing, because that is what will get you peace at the end; and you convince yourself this man is real, despite all the contradictions there are.

Because if you slip one second, one single second of mistrusting the fantasy, you are out of the list. You become an expatriate in this world of happiness and joy, and so you rather prefer to keep believing, to maintain your faith and be strong, because that is the only way you are getting a present.

And yes, I'm still talking about Santa.

[Happy winter solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa, late Hanukkah and whatever you do this part of the year]

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