The Santa Myth, Some Thoughts

Christmas 2010 was my first Christmas as an atheist. As such, it was difficult for me to watch my children go through the motions of Santa Claus. “How can I let them believe in something I know isn’t true?” I thought. It reminded me too much of my own belief in a mystical man who magically bestowed gifts upon me. I was concerned that fostering this type of belief would encourage my kids to believe other magical men to be real, if you catch my drift. Well, Dale McGowan gives me hope that the Santa myth is not only not harming my kids, but could actually be doing them some good.

I recently discovered¬†The Meming of Life,¬†Parenting Beyond Belief author, Dale McGowan’s,¬†blog. Today I read a post called “Santa Claus – The Ultimate Dry Run,” which I recommend you head on over to read right now. McGowan believes that the Santa Claus myth is a great way to open a child’s mind – and what a perfect age to let those free thoughts flow! I’m no longer worried about my children believing in Santa, because I know I’ll have a great opportunity to teach them something meaningful about free thought in the near future. Thanks for this, Dale!

4 Thoughts on “The Santa Myth, Some Thoughts

  1. I am fairly recent to the atheist Christmas as well (three years), and I’ve given a lot of thought to the Santa Myth… In the end, we decided we weren’t going to do Santa for our little one, but I get the feeling we are in the minority.

  2. We actually started the Santa thing before I understood the significance of mythological figures in my children’s lives. Since we’d already started, I figured we should handle it delicately and use it as an opportunity for learning. Part of me wishes we’d never started though!

    Thanks for stopping by, Mindy!

  3. Well the thing about Santa is you find out he is NOT real and that it would be ridiculous to believe in him as an adult. Along with things like pink unicorns. Honestly, I think learning that Santa does not exist is one of the things that can contribute to atheism. One begins to realize that their god is as real as Santa Claus.

  4. Claudia – yes, I’m hoping this is where the Santa Myth will lead my children! Thanks for reading!

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