Adults read this WITHOUT your young children reading over your shoulder.
We are down to two weeks. Only two more weeks until Christmas morning.
My absolute favorite Christmas movie is Miracle on 34th Street. I watch it every year. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas until I’ve watched that movie.
Miracle on 34th street deals with a lot of touchy subjects and I’d like to talk a little bit about one of them today: Faith.
The idea of Faith is a tricky one. Belief in Santa Claus or The Easter Bunny or so many others, are often lumped in with belief in God and there is a line in the movie that caught my attention last night and I think that line is the real heart of the issue.
There is a scene in the movie where “Santa” talks with Mrs. Walker – one of the main characters – the mom who “doesn’t believe”.
I’m not just a whimsical figure who wears a charming suit and affects a jolly demeanor. You know, I… I… I’m a symbol.
I’m a symbol of the human ability to be able to suppress the selfish and hateful tendencies that rule the major part of our lives.
If you can’t believe, if you can’t accept anything on faith, then you’re doomed for a life dominated by doubt.
~ Santa Claus in “Miracle on 34th Street
My only real problem with the statement above is that a lot of people attribute this type of “faith” with faith in God and that sends a very wrong message.
Faith in God is very different from faith in myths or whimsical figures or anything else along those lines. And because of that – too often people either feel afraid to allow their children to ever believe in Santa Claus because telling them differently later might make them question their faith in God…
Or they encourage them to believe and make a big production of the whole thing and carry it all too far. And then they try to drag it out much longer than necessary to allow the children to keep that “faith” even after they’re ready to let it go.
I feel it’s only fair at this point to let you know that my children figured out all by themselves just who “Santa Claus” is in our family.
I was talking about this with a dear friend and we have come to the conclusion that there is a danger in the whole idea of Santa Claus
(THIS IS NOT POINTED AT ANYONE IN PARTICULAR – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE).
Santa Claus is worse than a myth.
Santa Claus is an excuse! An excuse to do something for your kids that they really don’t deserve at a time of the year where everyone has gone a little gift-crazy. It’s a way to ease your conscience… even though it’s not really about your conscience – it’s really about easing your guilt because you haven’t been as good a parent as you should have been and you know it.
We see it all the time in movies or in TV Shows, even books.
Some dad(mom) works too much, he(she)’s never home, the kids are spoiled rotten and they misbehave. They torment the housekeeper or the nanny or the au pair until they quit. This usually goes on for a while.
The story always shows this in a light that makes the kids look like the victims. They can’t help being so spoiled and bratty. They just want their mom or dad to be home more often.
I’m not going to get the popular vote for what I’m about to say next but it has to be said.
NO one in this situation is the victim! Except maybe the housekeepers and nannies and au pairs who are tormented by the spoiled children.
Parents are the ones responsible for their children. If they have to hire a nanny, they still need to be enough of a parent to teach their children how to behave properly. It’s the nanny’s job to watch the children, not be their parent.
And the children are equally at fault. No amount of bad behavior is acceptable, no matter what sort of attention it gets from a parent. And maybe it can be overlooked when the children are under the age of 6 but once they’re old enough to know how to dress themselves, they need to start growing up and start figuring out how human beings behave.
Of course this goes to a much larger issue and it’s a major problem with our society but I’ve ranted enough for today so I’ll stop there.
What’s the bottom line you say?
Parents, be parents! If you don’t want to be a parent, don’t have children. It’s as simple as that.
We pass on our convictions to our children by the things we tolerate. ~ Amish Proverb
And on that note, I will say adieu.
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