Kris Kringle Meets the Credit Crunch

Santa, seen from behind, carrying a large trash bag
Photo by Axel Bührmann.
Click the photo to see it on its Flickr page.

By now, you’ve probably read at least one article about how the credit crunch has affected people’s gift-buying this holiday season. The one that stuck in my head is Sorry, kids, Santa’s tightening his belt, which appeared in The Globe and Mail a couple of weeks ago.

Here are the opening paragraphs from the article:

Fat tears rolled down Logan Roberts’s face when his mom said Santa was cutting back on gifts this year.

The 10-year-old desperately wanted an iPod, his mother says, and he asked Santa to slip one under the tree to save his parents from buying one.

“He said, ‘Christmas is my only chance to ask Santa to buy it instead of you,’” says Mindy Roberts, a 40-year-old mother of three.

“My kids just think it’s the greatest because Santa gives [gifts] for free so that if they ask for them for Christmas, then it doesn’t impact me. It’s really very cute.”

I was under the impression that kids by the age of 10 had figured out the real story behind Santa Claus, either through their parents, via logic, their friends, accidentally stumbling into a hidden cache of presents or in a particular case that ended in a suspension, a teacher. I think this would be especially true in the age of the internet –  I’d wager that child safety content filters are focused on adult content and not searches for phrases like “Is Santa real?”.

2 replies on “Kris Kringle Meets the Credit Crunch”

Interesting. As a parent of a 10 year old, I’m more bothered by the notion that a 10 year old wants an iPod than that they believe in Santa.

My kids also wanted to go to Alaska to see the salmon, Disneyland, and the moon. They also thought it would be cool if Santa brought me a job and a car that doesn’t break down. They are kids – they throw everything out there. Just because they ask for something doesn’t mean it’ll happen – they know this better than readers!

(Btw, we live in a school district serving affluent families who wouldn’t blink at giving out iPods, cell phones, and dirt bikes to little kids. It’s a life lesson that we are not like those kids who perhaps are getting toys, not time and attention.)

My ten year old is the eldest, and he knows that we are all part of keeping the magic alive for the little ones. We are reading The Christmas Chronicles together, and I think it illustrates perfectly the reasons children and adults alike continue to “believe” in Santa, in the spirit of giving.

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