According to a new poll, a whopping eight million Canadians still believe in Santa Claus.

Curiously, more older Canadians say they believe in Santa (32%) than younger Canadians (22%).

Carl Anderson, a Texas psychologist, is considered the world’s foremost expert on Santa. He says the man in the red suit is divisive for the same reason all robust cultural symbols can inspire opposing reactions: “Santa resonates at a far deeper level than most people realize.” One young father says, “Santa is a representation of dreams and hopes. So many adults don’t like that.”

Some years ago a Canadian academic caused a storm when he said it was time parents chucked the Santa myth.

Do you think children should be taught the Santa Claus story?

Is it damaging to the child if someone rubbishes Santa Claus?

Or is it even more damaging when the child discovers the whole thing is a hoax?

Or is Santa a hoax? What do you think?



  1. 1
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    Obviously most Canadians believe in Santa Claus how else could they believe that they can have tax cuts without service cuts? Eating your cake and still have it!
    As far as kids are concerned, why deprive them of the magic inherent to childhood? Yes they will find out and most will not suffer any damages if they have parents to accompany them throughout the discovery, not jam it down their throath.
    By the way, merry Christmas, happy Hanukka, merry Eid al Hud, good Bodi Day! And for the others: have a joyous Festive Season! And a Happy Pagan Nowel!

  2. 2
    Cate McB Says:

    There are a lot more damaging beliefs for both adults & children than re: Santa Claus. And I agree with Paul, why deprive children of the magic inherent to childhood? Like any belief, the belief in Santa requires a commentary and reflection done in an age-appropriate way. But why not believe?

    I wish a joyous holiday season to all! – no matter what you’re celebrating!!

  3. 3
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Uh, Neil, the mere fact that you are asking such a question as “Is Santa a hoax?” begs at the very least a 33% “YES!” answer. Ergo, a reason why the poll you cited got the results that it did.

  4. 4
    Tony Kondaks Says:

    Oh, and a happy Festivus to all Neil McKenty Weblog regulars!

  5. 5
    Chimera Says:

    “According to a new poll…”

    There’s the problem, right there. Another flappin’ poll! I realize that people need to have jobs in a general sense, but why is it that the job creation craze seems to center around a bunch of hacks with no lives of their own asking inane questions, the answers to which are nobody’s business, of people who are probably too busy to argue the point, so they say whatever comes first to mind in an effort to escape?

    Never. And I mean never. Take a poll seriously.

    Having said that…

    Yes, “Santa Claus” exists. He’s part mythology and part hero that goes back into the mists of time. He had his beginnings in what is now northern/eastern Europe.

    His persona as bringer of gifts for well-behaved children is new. His actual origins are pre-Christian, survived the Christianization of Europe, and was absorbed into almost every culture in the world. And that makes him almost unique in the sense that his globalization was strictly unintentional, and yet he is welcome nearly everywhere.

    Proselytizers should take a lesson.

    “Do you think children should be taught the Santa Claus story?”

    Not only the local version, but all the other versions, as well. I can think of worse role models.

    “Is it damaging to the child if someone rubbishes Santa Claus?”

    Hah! Give the kid a baseball bat or similar tool when someone breaks the “bad news” to him, and let’s see who suffers any damage…

    “Or is it even more damaging when the child discovers the whole thing is a hoax?”

    Hoax? What hoax?

    “Or is Santa a hoax? What do you think?”

    I think that people should think for themselves. If Santa Claus is a relevant character in their cultures, he will survive there, as he has survived for centuries.

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