Saturday 16 December 2017

Heidi Scrimgeour: Be a Santa story grinch – but you'd better watch out

IT'S no exaggeration to say that what we tell our children about Santa has the power to shape their childhood. What we say – and how we say it – leaves a legacy that affects everything from the memories children have of Christmas to the values they grow up with and the traditions they repeat when it's their turn to play Santa.

So it's no wonder that parents were reportedly outraged last week when a teacher in England told a class of eight-year-olds that Santa isn't real. This bombshell was dropped in the middle of a literacy class, while the children were writing letters to Santa Claus. Talk about timing – only the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge would choose such a magical moment to disavow the existence of Santa. The teacher is reportedly extremely apologetic.

But does it matter? Well, yes, because children are impressionable and take their cues from their parents when forming early values and beliefs, so it's simply not for anyone else to presume to override what might be sacred at home.

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