Beyond Reason

Elves and Trauma

Posted in Pure Nonsense by Abigail on December 21, 2006

I have been inspired by the greatest of question of our time: how many of us were actually traumatized by Santa’s fictional nature? In other words, how many of us were devastated by the fact that he’s not real? Gasp choke. Oh my.

Well, I have conducted some very scientific research (I specialize in Santa Clausology) and have implemented some of the work I did on my dissertation (entitled Why Santa Should be Real). My elves (I hired a few from Santa. The rest came from Middle Earth) created the forms, the database to sift and calculate the data, and a web site which can only be accessed from the North Pole (or Middle Earth). Since they generated the tools for my methodology, you’d have to ask them any questions you may have on the credibility of my research. I refer you to the elves!

First, I asked myself (what any unbiased researcher would do). And then I based all further results off my own. Growing up, was I traumatized by the slow realization that Santa Claus wasn’t real? After thinking about a half second, it came to me: No! I wasn’t! I don’t think I was a superbly rational kid – I was just intelligent beyond all reason. Wait, that’s not what I meant to say. But, it’s true – there was no pain, no crying, no emotional disturbance over Santa’s nonexistence. In fact, this realization made such an impact on me that I have no memory of it!

Until recently, Santa has had practically no impact on my life. But the claim has reached my ears that many kids are traumatized by Santa’s unreality.* What to do with such a claim? Well, first find out if it’s true. Hence, my “research.”

Dave, who works in the cube near mine, was baffled by my question. No, he wasn’t traumatized, didn’t know anyone who was, and couldn’t imagine anyone who would be. Gary, who works next to Dave’s cube, had the same response. Damian, who works across from Gary, thought hard – no one. Michael, next to Dave, told me a story that had nothing to do with my question and then finally answered: no. Bill – The Boss – had the same response: no trauma. Of my two roommates, I’ve polled one: she was not traumatized and knows no one who was. This is an odd pattern… (Although this morning I asked the other one and, she told me, in all seriousness, that she was. I just stared at her for a couple minutes and then she confirmed the horrible truth – my theory has one statistic against it. So we’ll throw that out.)

To continue my stellar research, I am posing the question to you: were you traumatized by Santa’s unreality (or know anyone who was)? I know this is very personal…

*This claim was made in the middle of a very worthwhile conversation on the origin and value of Christmas, for a Christian. While I obviously view this particular claim, as, uhm, questionable, the rest of the discussion was worthwhile.


7 Responses to 'Elves and Trauma'

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  1. Larry said,

    whatdoyamean Santa isn’t real? Where did you hear that? Are you spreading rumors again?
    BTW, merry Xmas.

  2. Damian said,

    One comment I failed to make during my interogation…I mean while I was being surveyed…was the fact that not only is it healthy to allow young people to believe, it can be beneficial. Think about it…Children have “faith” that Santa will come every year on Christmas eve and once they come to the understanding what is really going on they will begin to question other “faith” based realities – see how I tied that to your other BLOG catagory (which by the way I won’t engage in a debate}.

    Of course you could argue that believing in Santa is not as much “faith” based as we do get to see Santa all over during the holiday season 🙂

    And of course the best part about allowing children to believe in Santa…and for those of you without children I hope you are able to experience in the future…is seeing the joy during Christmas season.

  3. Chris Poteet said,

    I was one of those people that had a hard time believing this Jesus character when my parents told me Santa wasn’t real. So, you were in a worthwhile discussion on the celebration of Christmas eh? 🙂

  4. amandalaine said,

    Merry Christmas to you too Larry! Sorry about the Santa shocker. You might be able to find him at the mall…

    Damian – that’s an interesting theory you have on “allowing young people to believe.” I can imagine someone who doesn’t support the Santa idea responding that that’s an awfully twisted way to get your children to understand the difference between fact and fiction. And I would have to agree with them somewhat. But, I agree with you completely that a person has to learn to differentiate and question as certainly we live in a world of both fact and fiction. About not engaging in debate – that’s cool. I’ll quit disagreeing with you here. 🙂

    Chris – yes, it was a worthwhile conversation. You have a stimulating blog. 🙂

  5. Jai said,

    🙂 the value of Christmas for Christians, huh? Why would a christian not want to celebrate Christmas? Anywho, as for your survey, I was not traumatized by finding out there was no Santa, but I can’t really remember believing in him either. I’m wondering if my parents actually dispelled that myth early for me (I’ll have to ask them tomorrow given the fact that they like to turn in for bed much earlier than I’m used to). We used to do lots of Christmas traditions though; from fruitcake and eggnog with seniors, to christmas caroling, to my parents “making” me buy/give a present for someone who had made an impact on my life that year (I’d choose who, but it was with my hard earned allowance no less!), and the advent calendars, decorating the tree (usually took like 5-6 hours), to Christmas eve service and reading the Christmas story… Santa was just another part of Christmas that kind of got lost in the shuffle. My parents were really focused on getting me to think about other people and about Christ’s birth that I guess I never really missed Santa. Over the last few years, Christmas has actually “moved” to my place rather than my parents home more often than not, so we’re a lot more rushed (shorter schedules with brother and parents coming here, and even though my place is small, its bigger than my parents apartment). I guess I’m just wondering if I haven’t lost some of my focus. hmm… I guess the finding out that if you don’t really focus on others and Christ over the holiday that it really just loses a lot of its meaning. That feels a little more traumatizing to me than finding out Santa wasn’t real.
    P.S. There actually was a Saint Nick after whom the american Coca Cola icon is patterned (and the stories in other countries as well), and tradition has it that he would give anonymous gifts to children (and people). The best story is the one about the 3 bags of gold, but I’ll let you read about it yourself on wikipedia. I think I had more fun learning about him a little growing up than I did missing that he wasn’t “real”

  6. amandalaine said,

    Jai – There are some issues related to Christmas – mainly it’s origin – that concern some Christians. Some of that is discussed here:

    I’m glad to hear your weren’t traumatized! So far – according to my stellar research – no one was. Thank you for participating in this biased and unscientific poll. 🙂

  7. Matt said,

    Here’s my 1st post for ya.

    Look what I found on the Theological Glossary:

    Santa Claus Theology-
    Term coined by theologian Dr. J.I. Packer
    for liberal religion with a conception of God as a cosmic Santa Claus
    too nice to really punish sinners, who gives good gifts to good people,
    and who merely withholds good things from the unrepentant. Ho, ho,
    ho !( SAME:Liberalism.RELATED:Culture of Diversion. )

    On the poll question, I was somewhat sad to find out that the Dutch version (Sinterklaas) wasn’t real after I had left my shoe outside hoping to get some goodies and came up empty! I even left his horse a treat!

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