I've been thinking about this for a while now. When my eldest daughter was just a toddler, we got all nuts about having her get her picture taken with Santa at the mall. We got her all dressed up and headed out. To make a long story short she freaked out and we didn't get the photo. I don't mean that she just squirmed and cried. She. Freaked. Out. This got me thinking, 'Why aren't more kids afraid of Santa?' Sure he represents a time of year (supposedly) filled with joy and peace and forgiveness and love, but the rest of the Santa Claus mythos is kind of disturbing when you break it down into it's individual pieces.
Think about the song 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'. This song is filled with all kinds of scary stuff. 'He know when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake, He knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!' Even as an adult I find this kind of disturbing. HOW dies he know if I'm sleeping or not? HOW does he know if I've been bad or good? More importantly, what happens if I haven't been good? Basically with Santa, you've got a strange hermit who watches us all the time and holds our behaviour out as a plan to get stuff. Last July I actually heard a mother in a store tell her child that he'd better be good or Santa wouldn't come! Six months ahead of time, she was placing a veritable Sword of Damocles over the kid's head. Most disturbing of all, this guy enters our homes in the middle of the night! He sneaks in and eats our food, has a smoke (if the old Coke ads are correct) and then climbs up the chimney to escape. Talk about stranger danger!
Isn't if funny how as we get older the magic of the season and the traditions involved change. We go from looking at the whole Christmas thing as a time of wonder and magic to thinking of it as an overly commercial and stressful time that is better to just get through and then be left behind. From enjoying a song about Santa to changing it into a disturbing narration of a stalker who enters our homes at night (even if only in jest). What if we all took a page from the books that the kids are reading from at this time of year. Take the time to look at Christmas through the eyes of a child. Isn't the magic that they feel better than the dread and stress of adulthood? Sure it is. Merry Christmas Everybody!