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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do You Believe in Santa Claus?

by Scott Heffernan (bio)

My wife was recently looking for some minimalist Santa Claus art to add to our Christmas decorations. She was disappointed in what she found (or didn't find) and asked me to design something for her. I really dove into the project over Thanksgiving and am extremely happy with the result (more importantly—she is happy.)

My favorite is the version that reads, "BELIEVE," shown at the top of this post. But it kind of got me thinking. I have mixed feelings toward the whole Santa thing that I need to work through. I've met parents who are anti-Santa Claus. "It's the first big lie we tell our children," I remember one mother telling me. (And I'll never forget when I asked her seven-year-old daughter what Santa had brought her, only to be met with a long blank stare.) I've heard others who take a more nuanced approach. They lightly participate in a Santa Claus Christmas, stressing that Old St. Nick is a myth, but a very powerful myth that teaches valuable lessons about love and selflessness. I think that the biggest part of me wants to create that magic in my children's lives. I do love getting swept up in the spirit of the season. But are there legitimate negative consequences? Will our kids lose trust in us? Are we teaching them it's okay to lie? Will they eventually view God as the next big fairy tale that is to be outgrown? Or is that a positive thing to help them learn to think critically for themselves and not live on borrowed light. I'm a bit lost. It seems like any way you approach it could potentially backfire. Harmful, harmless, or beneficial? Dear readers, now is your chance to convince me.

Below are the four versions I made that are available in our Etsy shop. Ho, ho, ho!

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