The true meaning of Santa

Do you know that Santa is not real?

Of course, you do. No, not the spirit, but the actual person. Everyone over the age of about 8 knows.

But a pox upon your house if your newspaper or TV station suggests it, even inadvertently. And it seems to make its way into the paper, at least, somewhere every year.

Last year, the News & Record published stories from readers about their favorite memories of Christmas. Several of them alluded to finding out that Santa didn’t exist or that parents actually brought the gifts. We printed them but not without serious discussion. Tell readers at Christmas time that Santa may not be real? Are you nuts?

I received letters from people who didn’t believe in that sort of truth telling, that some beliefs shouldn’t be shattered by the grinch at the newspaper. I agreed with them. Some myths are sacred, particularly the ones that everyone knows is a myth that gives children joy. Why, papers print horoscopes every day and you know they’re bunk, right?

I did appreciate the readers who said they had to hide the newspaper less their 7-year-old read that story and discovered Santa’s true existence. I always said, “Yourchild reads the paper? Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

3 thoughts on “The true meaning of Santa

  1. We publish stories about rapes, murders, child molestation and suicide bombings, and we worry about kids reading a story where we spill the beans about Santa? The average daily paper is far from child-friendly to begin with.

  2. Funny about the topic of disclosure, when media or government decide what the public should or should not know. Someone drops a trove of classified documents into the lap of Wikileaks, and the stuff about diplomatic cables to and fro goes out in a worldwide blast. More recently, some nefarious virus is prepped in a lab, and there’s a decision not to release that data. God forbid its makings should fall into the hands of terrorists, America’s avowed enemy, which we fear will bombard us with WMD from airborne craft, shoes, underwear or some other mundane vehicle.

    That said – and even though I know we can’t shield our young children from this darkness – I still vote to keep Santa’s secrets secret, and if newspapers can avoid publishing anything to the contrary, they should. More worrisome, however, is television, where children are much more likely to see denials of Santa’s existence than in newsprint. Young people don’t read newspapers, remember?

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