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Father Christmas in the time of Covid

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    Father Christmas in the time of Covid

    Spin off from the Covid-19 pandemic thread.

    How does Santa visit every house in the world this year without further exacerbating the pandemic? Why doesn't he have to follow international quarantine rules?

    Also, is Father Christmas an acceptable lie to tell your children in the first place? There were some divergent views on this.

    Discuss.

    #2
    There isn't some big thing about trying to ensure your kids believe they really are pirates, is there? Adults seem perfectly capable of handling that without trying to guilt-trip other adults into lying. Just always struck me as weird. And the "stranger coming into kid's bedrooms when they are asleep" thing is seriously creepy.

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      #3
      The die is cast on the Christmas lie in our house; we've been lying throughout. I tell myself it's a useful learning lesson if they ever show signs of being religious, to tell them how easy it was to make them believe in a white-haired old dude distributing favours on the basis of good behaviour. The eldest kind of knows, but enjoys the romance, and the littlest hasn't a scooby. She still believes in the tooth fairy, but writes letters asking for information about fairy land and specifically what happens to the teeth. We're wracking our brains to work out how we explain how Father Christmas isn't a superspreading event in the making.

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        #4
        I think children realize when they're older that you lied to them about Father Xmas with good and loving intentions. Far more damaging are the other lies adults tell thinking they are true, such as America being the greatest nation or how great the British Empire was.

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          #5
          Well, you know, you could always invoke a little magic. Same way he travels round the whole world in one night carrying presents in a flying sleigh.

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            #6
            Originally posted by TonTon View Post
            And the "stranger coming into kid's bedrooms when they are asleep" thing is seriously creepy.
            If they're a nice person bearing gifts then where's the creepiness? In the past we were told not to accept gifts from strangers, but Santa was never one of those people. Some of us met him in department stores!

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              #7
              My ex told her niece that butterflies were fairies. I got bollocked for saying they weren't, they were insects. Don't fucking lie to the kid, butterflies are beautiful and amazing enough as it is without having to embellish them. And if you must pretend that fairies exist for some reason, then at least have the common decency and intellectual flair to construct a lie that won't fall apart under the slightest prodding.

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                #8
                Yeah, the quality of the lies is really poor too, agreed, Eric's.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                  I think children realize when they're older that you lied to them about Father Xmas with good and loving intentions. Far more damaging are the other lies adults tell thinking they are true, such as America being the greatest nation or how great the British Empire was.
                  Yes, this. When I found out the truth about Santa I felt both enpowered (as my younger sisters didn't know yet so I knew something they didn't!) and, though I couldn't have explained it at the time, grateful to my parents for maintaining what for me at least was a beautiful illusion.

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                    #10
                    I've no children, but if I had they would have been 100% sold the Santa story. Christmas can be dreary enough for a single person in their 50s without dragging other people down as well. It's the joy that people get from it that makes it worthwhile for me anyway.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Sporting View Post
                      If they're a nice person bearing gifts then where's the creepiness?
                      I shall try that next time I'm doing the annual safeguarding training, so how it goes down.

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                        #12
                        I believe Santa can enter a tier 1 house as long as only one household is in there, though any cookies and carrots should be left in the packaging to avoid handling.
                        Also there should be sanitiser left on the roof so the reindeer can sanitise their hooves.
                        In tier 2 houses the room with the fireplace will have be sealed off on the evening and Santa will be obliged to wear gloves and a faceshield as well as a fur-trimmed red hazmat suit. Any cookies and carrots will have to be delivered by Uber Eats.
                        There is no such thing as Santa in tier 3 households. Tough shit Northern kids.
                        Last edited by Sean of the Shed; Yesterday, 11:48.

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                          #13
                          I was six or seven when I found out Father Christmas didn't exist. Having had my suspicions at the logistics of it all (we didn't even have a chimney!), I stayed up all night watching for his sleigh landing on the roofs opposite. He never came. So I sat my Dad down for a man to man, face to face chat.

                          Does Father Christmas really exist?
                          Well what do you think?
                          I don't think he does
                          Well, if that's what you think, then you're right. But don't tell your sister.

                          It didn't make Christmas any less special.

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                            #14
                            Yeah, I told my mum I didn't believe in Father Christmas when I was four because I outright refused to believe that reindeer could fly.

                            But, then again, I refused to get on a plane until I was 17 because I didn't believe they could really fly either.

                            My kids sort of know it's us, and we don't try too hard to bamboozle them, but they like the theatre of it anyway.

                            Elf on the shelf, on the other hand, can fuck right off. Deeply sinister (Santa has a spy watching you for the whole of December) and designed to send neurotic mothers completely over the edge (I know mums who wake up in a panic at 2am most days in December because they haven't rearranged the elf in some sort of creative and artistic way).

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                              #15
                              What is elf on the shelf?

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by EIM View Post
                                It didn't make Christmas any less special.
                                Course not. Christmas isn't about presents. It's about sitting through shit stuff on the telly, eating neat cholesterol until your heart stops and tolerating old racist relatives.

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                                  #17
                                  I think if I had children I'd like them to realise pretty early on that Christmas isn't about magic and fairies and Father Christmas. It's about family, and giving, and understanding of the hard work and sacrifices involved in doing the best for each other. And also food, mince pie flavour snide Bailey's from Aldi, and shit telly, and huge naps with the heating on.

                                  I'd also quite like them to realise the power they could hold over every other child in the playground, and how that power can be used to destroy a collective innocence.

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                                    #18
                                    I'd not major on "family" myself, but otherwise, yeah. Especially the collective innocence destruction.

                                    Elf on the shelf is properly vile - even worse than the whole Father Christmas thing.

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                                      #19
                                      EDIT - To Sean of the Shed - You missed football - Christmas is about Boxing Day football (well, not this year, but you get the point).

                                      As for Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Old Saint Nick, whatever you want to call him, we were well in on the lie from day one, but we make a point of Santa only bringing small gifts for their stockings (your chocolate lollies, or socks) and any "big" presents we buy come from us as parents.

                                      My eldest (14) obviously knows he doesn't exist, we think he worked it out around about 8 years old, but we've never sat him down. My middle child (10) also doesn't believe, but again we've never sat him down to discuss it. As we have 3 year old twins though, the elder two like keeping the magic alive for them.

                                      We did do elf on the shelf a couple of years ago, but I washed my hands of it within a couple of days. If the wife wants to do it again then that's on her.

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Gangster Octopus View Post
                                        What is elf on the shelf?
                                        I don't know where it actually came from, but I blame America anyway.

                                        People buy a toy elf, which they say is sent from Santa to watch the kids and make sure they behave for the whole of December. But the elves themselves are naughty, so each night, the parents arrange the toy elf in some sort of compromising diorama: sitting on the kitchen floor in a pile of Cheerios; having taken ornaments off the Christmas tree; partying with the barbies, etc.

                                        It is deeply weird and now very entrenched. My daughter's reception teacher did it for the whole of December and most of her classmates' families do it. She is continually disappointed that I refuse to add this to my list of "things to do during December that might result in another psychotic episode".

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                                          #21
                                          Family legend has it that my sister came home from school when young and lambasted my mother for not telling her that Father Christmas was actually a real creepy old man who sneaks into kids' bedrooms, as had now been confirmed to her by other kids at school. She then went on to have nightmares about creepy old men sneaking into her bedroom. It took quite a bit for my mother to get her to accept that everyone else was lying to her, but she eventually did.

                                          Sadly, since both sister and mum are dead, I can't now find out what actual happenings this legend is based on. Ah well.

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                                            #22
                                            My son Googled "Is Santa Real?" as soon as we gave him access to the Internet so that was that.

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                                              #23
                                              Rather like Captain and Tennille's Love Will Keep Us Together, elf on a shelf is eclipsed by the superior response to it.



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                                                #24
                                                The Elf on the Shelf was written in 2004 by Carol Aebersold and daughter Chanda Bell. Bell suggested they write a book about an old tradition of an elf sent from Santa who came to watch over them at Christmas time. Aebersold's other daughter, Christa Pitts, was recruited by the family to share her expertise in sales and marketing. Together, the trio devoted the next three years promoting their self-published book and attending book signings and trade shows.

                                                The Elf on the Shelf won the Best Toy Award by Learning Express, won Book of the Year Award from Creative Child Awards and National Best Books Award sponsored by USA Book News in 2008.

                                                On 26 November 2011, a 30-minute animated special titled An Elf's Story: The Elf on the Shelf aired on CBS, directed by Chad Eikhoff.The Washington Post criticized the quality of the animation and dismissed it as "just a half-hour advertisement for a book and a toy", which it felt would not join "the canon of prime-time animated Christmas specials that actually move the spirit".Common Sense Media disagreed, calling the special "a great addition to families' holiday TV traditions"; however, they also warn parents about the consumer-driven nature of the story, and make note of its lack of educational value.

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                                                  #25
                                                  My Facebook lights up with Elf on a Shelf stuff in December as all the try hard mumsies complain about how difficult it is. Don't fucking do it then.

                                                  I know a few people whose children have been very upset at the thought of the tooth fairy visiting during the pandemic and I can see the same thing happening with Santa.

                                                  I don't get the argument that deceiving your kids is somehow about joy and magic. When it gets to the fake footprints and throwing glitter on your lawn to feed reindeer then I think you've got a fucking problem. Also Santa gets all the credit for all that money you spend. Seems like a mugs approach tbh.

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