Let's walk through a hypothetical. A world in which parents, when they had children, lied to them about a made-up person who would occasionally visit their house. The parents use this lie to make their children do what they tell them to do, as well as to make them prepare the house for this mysterious and made-up guest and bake and leave out sweets or presents for this made-up guests, which the parents would take for themselves. They get their children excited about this fake person they will never see, and make them believe that he buys things for them when he indeed does not. Amirite?
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I was so pissed when I learned that I had been baking cookies for my parents to eat in one night
I had been lied to and I didn't appreciate it. I would be more than happy to make cookies for them, but they said that they were for Santa clause.
My parents also used it to guilt trip me. "If you don't do what we tell you to do, Santa won't bring you presents." Now they use other things, like taking away piano lessons or not letting me do sports anymore. But when it was Santa Clause, it made me feel more powerless to make any arguments about anything, even if I really felt like I was right. Parents also use it to scare their kids into obedience. There's no point in using Santa Clause at all.
That's just not what Christmas is to me. If all Christmas is to a child is believing that a guy with a beard is bringing you toys... that's really sad. I mean, I celebrate it as a Christian, but even in a non-religious way, do you want Christmas to be a consumer thing or a spending time with family and giving each other gifts thing?
Getting a trampoline from Santa Clause was fun, but it would have been more meaningful to know my parents answered my request for a trampoline rather than bearded guy who gets you whatever you want. Also, teaching kids to make Christmas lists/write letters to Santa Clause is a terrible idea. It teaches children not to be happy with what they have and to not believe their parents would get them what they want - and it also encourages wanting more different things than what they have.
Once, when I was seven, my mother got a video of me on "Santa Clause's" lap and he asked what I wanted for Christmas. I felt put on the spot because even as a seven year old, I really was happy with what I had and didn't really have a Christmas list. So I just said, "Anything. ...World peace." All of my mother's facebook friends and their facebook friends thought it was staged. It wasn't. Belief in Santa Clause is ruining the idea that a child can be selfless and not just care about getting presents.
Believing in Santa Clause is most definitely not one of the happiest memories of my childhood. I wish I never thought there was some stranger bringing me Christmas presents. I wish I had thanked my parents for getting me things instead of believing that a random red-suited guy actually cared about what I wanted.