Don't have any kids yet, but I probably will at some point, and if I continue to live in the United States there will be no way to avoid exposing him or her to Christmas. For obvious reasons, I will not celebrate the religious "birth of jebus" bs... but Santa Clause? Should I do the whole Santa thing with my kids? Would it be right to decieve them? If I don't... they will be exposed to those who think santa is real.. and what would I do then?
At primary school, the teachers would spend the few weeks just before the xmas holidays getting the class to make tree decorations. The usual beard with cotton wool and the like. In hindsight, this was a terrible thing as it only reinforced one religion's traditions and culture at the expense of the rest. At the time, I didnt really care who SC was, had already happened across my presents that were not-so-well hidden at the age of 5 on xmas eve. That was my 'Aha' moment. But maybe some other kids were a little thicker than others and did so thinking that SC was real. Santa mimics chistianity so well, but you get a lump of coal instead of enternal damation. The basic idea is sick.
I say scrap the santa claus bull and just put presents under a religious neutral tree. After all, the pagans were doing all this way before chistianity crawled out of some dark hole.
Good idea... but then you could get the problem of the child learning about "santa" [or god] from school mates, and how do you respond when he/she asks "what's santa?"
I would have no problem with Santa as a symbol for giving so reading make believe stories about Santa or reading books about the origins of the idea of Santa won't be a problem for me when I have kids. I could never keep up the charade of telling/convincing my kids Santa is real though ... it's bad enough as a teacher to keep my mouth shut when the kids I work with ask me if Santa is real... my default response is that "It's up to you to decide."