Santa Claus is for Sadistic Parents
I can safely say that I think Santa is for adults, and specifically for making universal the pleasure of lying to children because they’ll believe anything you say. Not all of us are skilled bullshitters who can come up with cockamamie stories on the fly, like Calvin’s dad, or my dad, who told us that Parmesan cheese was made up from ground-up dirty sweat socks. Santa democratizes the process of exploiting child credulity so that any adult, no matter how unimaginative, can participate.She concludes:
None of this is to say that I strenuously object to Santa. I’m not a parent, and it’s not my place to say one way or another if you choose to engage in what is a relatively harmless tradition. But I do think that I’d like the whole thing a lot more if people quit spinning self-serving tales about how Santa is there for the kiddies. I realize that parental sadism is not P.C., and so in order to engage in it, parents have to convince themselves and others that it’s for the kids’ own good. But I say fuck that. Parents wipe asses, give time-outs, worry about nutrition, lose sleep, and get kid germs. Parents deserve a little payback. Santa may not be great for kids, but it’s great for parents, and that’s reason enough in my eyes. Just so long as the parents admit it. Not everything in this world has to be for the children, and people who think that everything in the entire world should be sculpted around the raising of children to be good people are, at best, tedious bores and many of them run the risk of writing tedious letters to the FCC because Bono said “fuck” at the Grammys. Perhaps having a little fun with the kids at the expense of the child’s credulity isn’t the worst thing in the world. What’s bothersome to me is playing it off as something it’s not.It's worth reading the whole thing.
We're not teaching Quinn to believe explicitly in Santa Claus. We'll tell him the stories, and our Christmas card has a picture of Quinn with Santa. But we're not going to practice active deception.