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Killing Santa April 1, 2007

Posted by dorigo in humor, personal.

Filippo is growing up quite quickly… Today, he started questioning my wife about the existence of Santa Claus, based on objective reasoning on the amount of work involved during the night before Christmas.

He also reasoned on the existence of another entity which brings a gift every time a kid loses a tooth. The story is that a little magical ant collects the tooth, left outside of a window, and pays back with a gift. Filippo was really suspicious because of the large size of some of the toys he had been receiving – when Mariarosa reported on that I could not help laughing!

I thought it was due time to have a frank chat with him, so I brought him upstairs, far from Ilaria’s earing reach, and I took him to the rather uninspiring conclusion about these traditions by helping him reason on the observed phenomena. He really did not believe in Santa any more, but he had no candidate alternative for an explanation, so he was surprised to learn that it is parents who are responsible for putting gifts under the christmas tree.

I was happy to see how smoothly things went.  It was also fun to determine together that Santa would need to spend no more than a few tens of millionths of a second on the delivery of each toy, something that really helped putting things in perspective…

In the end, I had him swear he will not tell any of his friends or other kids, especially Ilaria, and I assured him he will continue to receive lots of toys under the Christmas tree for a long time…



1. delio - April 1, 2007

tommaso, this is something i’ve always asked myself. i mean, is there any reason at all why parents tell children about santa? what would happen to kids otherwise? social emargination at school?

2. dorigo - April 2, 2007

Hi Delio,

with “tell about santa” you can mean two opposite things… So
1) tell about santa = construct the myth: it is a nice tradition and small kids would soon know others receive gifts and would feel bad by being different… But I’m almost sure you mean the opposite:
2) tell about santa = deconstruct the myth: when they get old enough to be able to reason with their own mind, they either understand by themselves, or become inquisitive to the point that you cannot both keep your position of authority and explain your kid the laws of nature and your political beliefs and at the same time insist that Santa is real. That is what happened with Filippo yesterday.


3. delio - April 2, 2007

no, i meant 1) indeed. you know, telling them about money, sexual life, wars, religion — it’s something they do not know when they’re born, and they need to be told about. i could never understand why do kids need be told something weird just for the parents’ sake of enjoying their naive belief. kind of bully, uh? 🙂

plus, kids would probably be very cool in their entourage, if they are those who reveal the truth 🙂

4. riqie arneberg - April 2, 2007

Why do parents persist in such nonsense? I remember becoming quite angry when I learned the truth, not because the myth was destroyed, but because I had been lied to in the first place!

5. dorigo - April 2, 2007

Hi Delio, Riqie,

I agree with explaining to children all they manage to grasp about the world around them, and then some more, to stimulate their learning processes.

I strongly disagree with negating children the chance of living in a world of magic until they are comfortable with parting from it. It has been shown by piles of pedagogists that children need it in the evolution of their intelligence, affectivity, and social skills.


6. Samh - April 3, 2007

// me puts fingers in ears


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