As part of the overall Santa experience children are encouraged to write lists of what they wish/pray Santa would bring them. Parents love these lists as it gives them ideas for what “Santa” might bring. For other parents though, these lists are just another conformation that they are unable to live up to their child’s expectations or of the hopelessness of their own circumstances. Often the child is not to blame, after all they have been presented with an omnipresent, benevolent, deity like figure, who it is promised will make all their wishes come true if only they are good enough. On the other hand the parent who reveals the secret “too soon” in attempt to help a child have a more realistic understanding of what to expect can be accused of spoiling the magic and mystery of Christmas.
Now I admit this may not all be Santa’s fault it is hard to blame him for the deluge of child focused advertising and our obsession with material things. After all Santa’s focus is on supervising elves, being generous and the problems associated with managing a large distribution network.
I am also aware that it is not possible to rescue everyone nor is it always possible to protect me or my children from disappointments, bad decisions and or their consequences. I am just not sure that wish/prayer lists of this nature actually add anything to our lives.