My Very Real Beef With Santa Claus

You sit on a throne of lies

Photo by hue12 photography on Unsplash

I love Christmas. It is one of my favorite times of year. Even from my home in Florida where the seasons do not change much, December offers a cozy disconnect from the rest of the year. What I don’t love is the idea of Santa Claus.

I just don’t understand why Santa Claus is still a thing in our modern world. You would think that the mass deception about an overweight white male sneaking into the houses of good Christian children to bestow gifts upon them would have gone out of style by now. But it hasn’t.

In an age where kids regularly get cell phones in elementary school, I don’t understand how “Is Santa real?” isn’t the number one searched for term on Google in December.

Actually, let me see what happens when you do search that…


Racial, religious and outdated social constructs aside, my real issue with the idea of Santa Claus is the fact that he is an outright lie. A lie that we are forced to tell, and a lie that really is not necessary.

There is a beloved scene from the movie Elf in which Will Ferrel emphatically whispers to the imposter Santa Claus that he sits on a throne of lies. This scene resonates with me every year and not just because I love the movie. Don’t we all sit on a throne of lies?

Obviously there is nothing remotely true about the idea of Santa Claus, yet we lie to our kids, we lie to other people’s kids and we lie to each other every year on a scale that should cause anyone to pause. How can we teach our children about being truthful and honest when we start off by lying to them on a grand scale from a very young age?

Even worse than lying to children is the fact that we are forced to lie to them. If you try and be the parent that tells their kid that there is no Santa, the public scrutiny and outcry is outrageous. You will be blamed for ruining kid’s innocence and being a downright Scrooge. I am sure every parent has trembled in fear at the thought that other parents might discover that you were the one that let it slip that Santa is a figment of the imagination.

You must participate in the delusion or else face social consequences. It is a practice very similar to those that took place in the old fascist and totalitarian communist regimes. Striking.

But why do we even tell this lie in the first place? Can’t we simply give our children the gifts that they requested without doing so under the guise of a mythical man from the North Pole? Are we ashamed to write From Mom & Dad on the tags of our gifts? I honestly don’t understand. I have so many questions.

Why does Santa have to enter the house? No other delivery person enters your house.

Why does he use a chimney instead of the door? Chimneys are gross.

Why are we okay with the idea of a white man enslaving an entire race of beings? They’re portrayed as loving their work but are forced to live in one place and toil year round at the behest of their master. Wasn’t this also a trope regarding something very real and very harmful in our own history?

Why is he pulled by flying reindeer instead of actual animals that fly? Even a dragon would be a better fit than flying deer.

I know that these things all stem from the myth but they make little to no sense. The fact that these things fall from our lips disguised as truth is laughable — and indeed we do laugh when we get older. But maybe we should stop laughing and start thinking.

Worst of all, this deception does not even add anything beneficial to the development of children. The world is not populated by magical creatures, quite the opposite. Rarely does anyone give you anything for free in life unless it is your family, yet we remove the family element from our gifts from Santa. Telling the truth should be rewarded yet, if you tell this forbidden truth, you are punished. If you want to start building cognitive dissonance from a young age, this is the way to go.

Furthermore, we also tell our kids that this mystical fat Caucasian man is also somewhat omniscient and always knows if you’ve been bad or good. He also knows when you are sleeping. Creepy.

But instead of using these omniscient powers for good, like figuring out what terrorists are up to or divining a cure for cancer, he uses it to spy on children and reward them if they’re “good”.

Also, isn’t good widely considered to be subjective nowadays? How can we allow this myth to perpetuate a Christian standard of morality in a modern 21st century world? Outrageous!

Why can’t we just tell our kids that if they don’t behave you’re going to shave some Benjamins from their Christmas budget? That is essentially what we are telling them anyways but instead of owning up to the fact that you are trying to actively parent your children, you pawn the responsibility off on a fake overseer.

Despite all of this, every year the lie continues. It encompasses tens of millions of children and is told around the world. If we can collectively lie about something like this and have it be a part of the modern Christmas social contract, what other mass delusions are out there?

I am still debating whether or not to lie to my kids about this in the future. The fact that I have to debate about telling my children a massive lie that could shape their worldview at a young age just shows you how messed up this delusion truly is.

The more I think about it, the stranger it sounds. And the stranger it sounds to me, the stranger I sound to everyone else around me. It is an odd phenomena.

So I have beef with Santa Claus and the throne of lies upon which he sits.

A nice southern lady once told me that the only difference between SANTA and SATAN is the positioning of the N and the T. Both wear red. Both delight in lying to children. It was something you’re only likely to hear in the South but I’ll never forget it.

Maybe she was onto something.

Professional freelance writer with an eye for history and storytelling. Mining stories from history is my passion. Sharing is caring.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store