Does Santa Claus have a place in a Noetic world?

Posted Dec. 23, 2013 by NoetPoet in Open

commented on Jan. 1, 2014
by NoetPoet



For centuries parents have told their children that there is an immortal magical fat man who lives at the North Pole with a bunch of elves and flying reindeer, and that every Christmas Eve this magical fat man with his flying reindeer delivers presents to well-behaved children all around the world in one night. The whole of society participates in this massive deception: TV stations and internet search engines giving live "news reports" about the progress of this fat man's annual journey, and shopping centres everywhere hire men to dress up in red suits and invite children to sit on their laps and tell them what they want for Christmas.

Inevitably children find out that this is all an elaborate fiction. This dissapointing realisation usually occurs when they are about to enter puberty, i.e. about the same time we start trying to warn them about the dangers of drugs and unprotected sex.

In some cases, parents will actually go out of their way to delay their children's realisation of Santa's fictional nature as long as possible by deceiving and/or guilt tripping their children into holding on to a belief which they already realize deep down is a lie. Whether such parents do this out of fear of losing credibility in the eyes of this children, or fear of their children growing up and becoming independent, or both, the end result is usually a cynical and embittered child who has to deal with the fact that their whole understanding of reality is profoundly and deliberately wrong.

My question is, should parents and aspiring parents who are committed to Noetic values be encouraging their children to believe in Santa Claus? How do we raise children in a society which perpetrates such a massive deception on them?

  • NoetPoet Jan 01, 2014


    I like your approach to explaining Santa to your children. I think it is also good to explain to one’s children how the story of Santa Claus is derived from a real-life person called St Nicholas who lived in a village in ancient Turkey and used to secretly give gifts to fellow villagers. The problem is that we as a society tend not to use Santa Claus as a role-model for behaviour, but instead turn this potentially ennobling fiction into a massive materialistic (in more ways than one!) deception. The commercialisation and accompanying crystallization of Santa Claus thus overwhelmingly achieves the opposite of what it ought to: it makes children deluded, pre-occupied with getting *things*, and focused on gift-receiving rather than gift-giving. So my question is: can we still salvage the myth of Santa Claus a.k.a. St Nicholas, or has it become so corrupted and distorted that we need to dispense with it altogether and find other ways to encourage generosity, kindness and other associated virtues in our children?

  • frequencytuner Dec 29, 2013

    How I explain it to my children is that - like the Greek Gods and Goddesses - these characters represent an idea, they become symbols or even idols. "A Christmas Carol" and the recent "Rise of the Guardians" spell this quite clearly. Santa is the Childlike Wonder and Spirit of Giving and Generosity, and those who live their lives by this example become the images we create to crystallize this into reality: and create an entire commercial industry around this "Spirit".

    On the cold road into the darkness, Christmas is the point where the lines begin to blur and we begin to 'see the light'. So if you imagine the sun's journey along the course of the year, the winter solstice aka: Christmas - and the gift is that the days begin to get longer and warmer. In one respect it is the realization that there is no real fat jolly man in a red suit with endless presents in a sack, but there is still the Spirit that we associated him with. In response, we continue to make the same associations as adults because the culture has built itself around this idea: where lying to children is encouraged, as long as there is a grain of truth within it.

    The idea is not Santa, Santa is just one branch on the Tree, so to speak. The idea is that the human population can be manipulated. This is purely Noetic. Edward Bernays opened the smoking market to women, opened the bacon and egg idea to the food industry: among other things. One important idea is that want can be satisfied, which is not entirely true. Another idea is that success can be measured in dollars, which is not entirely true either. The third idea is that Democracy rules, which is not entirely true either, especially if the fourth, and most important - idea is true: that the collective mind can be manipulated, which is entirely true.

    As soon as the idea of manipulation enters a democratic system it is like a drop of bacteria in water. It will grow and eventually compromise the integrity of the entire system, if unchecked. As soon as want begins to be fed it is like cancer and will consume the entire host, if unchecked. As soon as success becomes something that divides and separates people, the entire system will eventually implode on itself, if unchecked.

  • NoetPoet Dec 29, 2013

    Are you saying that belief in Santa Claus might be beneficial to a child's brain development in some respects? It might be for infants, but I think once a child gets to about 6 years old then the harm it does to their understanding of reality and trust of their parents would begin to exceed the additional contributions to brain development.

    Perhaps there are similarly effective and less deceitful substitutes for belief in Santa Claus, e.g. encouraging children to read fiction books?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction Dec 24, 2013

    A nice question to converse about on this day.
    Let's recall that children exist in a more fantasy oriented world of their own due in part to their brain development.
    Stories such as St. Nicholas, "also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint who "had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, and thus became the model for Santa Claus, whose modern name comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, itself from a series of elisions and corruptions of the transliteration of "Saint Nikolaos," Father Christmas, "the traditional British name for a figure associated with Christmas," and Santa, are a part of our oral history, and can be framed as such, where belief in such figures remain an open question.

  • DJA12 Dec 24, 2013

    G'Day Noet

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have said. Santa Claus is commercialized beyond. Stores earn 2/3 of their yearly income this month.
    On the other hand, if you look at the concept of Santa Claus rather than the commercialized image it may be acceptable. The concept of Santa Claus is of a greater than life being who loves us and wishes to present us with gifts. I have read so many theories regarding the beginnings of our universe, but no one can figure out how that spark of energy got there to start it going in the first place. Yes, I believe in a Creator and believe that our very lives are gifts from him or her or it.

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