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How I Escaped The Santa Cult


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This is a little thing I wrote a couple of years ago that I've revised a bit. At the time, I posted it at a website I was with, not knowing that there were some pretty humourless fundies who actually took offence. I suppose that was what I found most interesting. The very fact that a parody like this was distinctly aimed at their magical beliefs. Or that something resonated from it that really bothered them. Anyway, you might get a laugh out of it....






It was early December, and me and the rest of the kids were outside the school at lunch hour, mingling.


"I asked Santa for a new bike", said one. "I hope that it's a red one."


"I'm getting lots of nice things for Christmas," said another.


"I'm getting an Ipod."


Suddenly, attention turned to me. I blurted out, almost unconciously, "Well, I asked my parents for a skateboard. I think my mom is worried I'll break something. Maybe dad will get me a bike."


There was a sudden silence. "You mean 'Santa', don't you?"


"Well," I said, "I realize we speak of Santa in a kind of fun and metaphorical way, but really it's our parents that fill our stocking and get us our primary Christmas gift, after all...."


More perplexed and annoyed looks.


"You don't believe in Santa, do you," said a couple of the other kids, moving closer in an attempt to corner me.


"Er, not really...." I said sheepishly. "I did maybe last year in my sort of childish haze at pre-school, but now that I'm a big boy in Grade One, I think it's time to acknowledge reality..."


"Santa brings us our gifts. You have to good, and you have to ask Santa for what you want. You can even write and send him a letter. You don't really have to mail it though, since Santa knows what you want anyway...."


"C'mon," I said. "This is kiddy stuff. Our parents get us our stuff. I even snuck out into the hallway last Christmas eve and saw my mom putting things in my stocking."


"Actually," one child chimed in, "I've seen that, too. But it's just your parents acting as a proxy for Santa. Doing 'Santa's Will', so to speak."


"Ummm...." I replied, "I don't really think that my parents would agree with that claim. I also saw the Visa slip for my Star Wars models from last Christmas."


"Santa can generate those kinds of things," said another. "I mean, really, Franko. Here is a guy who can deliver toys to every child in the world in just a few hours with his Super-Sleigh pulled by his Magic Reindeer, so I think that he can manage a few Visa reciepts and get your parents to buy the things you want."


"You mean my parents are in some kind of trance, when they go to the store and get my stuff ? And put it in my stocking ? Or below it, if it's too big ?"


"Something like that." There was some uneasy shuffling from the mob of kids around me. It was obvious we were getting into an uncertain area.


I said, "How come that mean kid Jerry, who got expelled and used to beat up us smaller kids, got a cool bike for Christmas last year, and an Ipod ? He's not very nice. Yet he got better stuff than us."


"Well," said another kid who stepped forward, "Santa has reasons that are beyond our understanding. Sometimes he will reward bad kids to remind us that he is all-powerfull. And that we might not always get what we want."


I thought about that for a moment, and said, "I think you're all clinging to fantasy.... There is no magic Santa. He doesn't control my parents like puppets with his mind, and he certainly doesn't land on my roof and come down my chimney. Like, the guy could use a Jenny Craig diet if you go by most of the pictures of him. I mean, there's no way. And many homes don't even have chimneys. Like apartments and condos and stuff..."


"Santa can materialize inside a home," exclaimed another, somewhat excitedly, as though he had just thought of it. He looked around at the other kids for approval.


I said, "I see. Beam in, beam out, you mean like Star Trek ? How come our parents and adults never see Santa either coming down the chimney or going through the air on his sled with the reindeer and all ?"


"Most adults don't believe. When you don't believe, you close your mind off. They actually do see evidence of Santa, but they ignore it, because it bothers them that they aren't in full control of their lives and decisions."


"I've seen Santa," blurted out one kid. "He was at the mall !"


"That's just someone pretending to be Santa, " I retorted. "There are tons of Santas at malls around Christmas."


"Many come and speak in his name. That's how he operates. Santa works his promises through the proxy Santas at the mall."


"There's just no getting around this, is there," I finally said. "No matter what happens, no matter what rational explanation is offered, it is countered with an extraordinary and imaginary claim."


"We have the song," said another. "You better not laugh, you better not cry.... I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town."


The other kids chimed in at this point: "He knows when you are sleeping, he knows if you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!" (Afterward, there were some high-fives....)


"Jibberish," I replied. "Just a song for kids made up a long time ago."


"Then how come the song has survived to this day? That would only be because Santa meant for it to. GOTCHA !" The other kids nodded in approval.


"Even if I don't believe in Santa," I countered, "I"m still going to get stuff. So is any kid who doesn't believe. Like my older brother."


"But that's all part of the Grinch's plan. He takes you away from Santa, so that you will never know the joy of Santa's love. And the love of the sacred reindeer. And what it's like to be completely rewarded for being good !"


"Who is this Grinch ?" I said. "Where did that come from ?"


There was some uneasy shuffling; it was obvious some of the kids didn't know the answer to that one.


"Well," offered one, "He's Santa's enemy. He works against Santa. He's the one who tries to take the Santa out of Christmas."


"So it's the Grinch bringing toys to kids who don't believe in Santa ?" By now I must have sounded incredulous.


"That's right. Those kids have corrupted toys. They will soon break. You'll see. But Santa's toys have a magical substance to them. If you open your heart and mind to believing this, you'll see. They are more fun to play with than the Grinch toys."


"OK," I said. "What about this idea that Santa makes all our toys at the North Pole. In some kind of factory or workshop. Like, he even has a bunch of little workers to help him. More strange creatures, it would seem..."


"That's right. All the good toys are made there. Even toys that the Grinch steals from Santa. You see, the Grinch used to be one of Santa's helpers, but he got jealous and wanted to be as important as Santa. So he took off, and stole the keys to Santa's workshop, too."


"The Grinch rips off Santa's toy stocks ? That's absurd. Where do you get all this info from ? Besides, the toys aren't made at the North Pole. Actually, there's nothing at the North Pole, just snow and ice. Maybe some polar bears."


I was starting to get a little exasperated.


"Have you been to the north pole ? How would you know then ?" said a couple of kids.


"The toys are made in factories, all over the world, by people. Even in China," I said. "Some of them even say where they are made on the back."


"That's just Santa testing your faith. And many toys for your birthday are made by regular people in factories, but not Christmas toys."


"OK, how about this ? How would Santa deliver miliions and millions of toys in just a few hours ? To kids all over the world? And I hear that some kids in some places don't even get toys, cuz they're parents are poor or starving and stuff."


"Santa can slow time down. You've probably noticed how slowly time goes on Christmas eve."


"Not really. But even if he slows time down, it would take him years to personally deliver to every home and child."


"Look," the other kids said, getting exasperated. "It's obvious you don't care about being good. You don't care about loving Santa. You just want to believe that it's your parents, because they already love you and you feel you don't need anything more... You're just living for yourself. You don't want to be accountable to Santa. You'll regret that later."


"How will I regret it later ?" I gasped. "It's not a big deal getting Christmas toys, anyway. It's fun, but it's not the end of the world. I got hockey equipment for my birthday, and my grandparents give me money all year round."


By now the other kids were getting gloomy. I felt like I was starting to ruin their excitement over Christmas. And Santa. Maybe I was a bad person.


Finally one said, "We'll write Santa for you anyway. Because we're good kids. And we're going to get stuff. But don't hang around us any more. You're a bad influence."


"OK," I said.


"And you will be punished for leading kids away from Santa. You'll see," said another. "Sometime this year something bad will happen to you. Remember Donald ? He didn't believe in Santa either, and he fell off his bike last week and broke his arm. Need we say more ?"


The other kids nodded approvingly.


"No, I said. I think that you've pretty well explained it. Thanks."


"Looks like you'll be getting crummy toys for Christmas this year", another one said. "And if they are good toys, then they are Grinch toys. And I wouldn't want to play with Grinch toys. I break other kid's Grinch toys. I know that helps Santa.... and you're narrow minded and selfish. Santa doesn't like that. You'll see."


Being not able to take it anymore, I started to feel angry. So I said, "I wasn't going to tell you guys this, but I guess it's time to. Santa is dead. That's right. Dead. And so are the reindeer. They got hit by a jet airliner a couple of years ago over the North Pole. It was on the news. One of those foriegn countries, cuz they don't have very good pilots. You're parents didn't tell you, because they didn't want to upset you. They probably still won't..."


"Nnoooo," one of the smaller kids began to cry.


"You're evil," the other kids shouted as I walked away. "You'll regret this," another yelled. Like a mob they began to follow me. The one who bought my jet accident story was still crying.


I finally turned around to comfort the kid.


"Look, I'm just kidding about Santa being dead," I told him. But notice how easily you believed it. That's kind of the lesson here, if you know what I mean. If a person does not use skeptical and rational judement you can be led to believe in so many things that aren't true. Things that can affect your life and others, sometimes in a bad way."


"You sound like my dad," one little girl said. "He says that to me when my brother tells me about the monster that's in my bedroom closet. But I know there is a monster there. Fortunately, he disappears when you turn a light on."


"He doesn't dissapear, he was never there, " I said. "There's just no end to this nonsense, is there ? My dad has shown me a lot of stuff about things that are real, and stuff that's not. For instance, whales can communicate with each other over hundreds of miles. That's something that's real, and far more interesting in a way than silly fantasies about a guy who brings you toys."


At this, the kids laughed and guffawed. "What, do these whales have cell phones? Man, are you stupid. Your dad's pulling your leg. Now who's believing everything they hear ?" More laughing.


"The guy at Seaworld backed him up. There was a whole film on it there, it has to do with sound and frequencies travelling under water."


"Then how come humans can't do that ? Huh ? And we're better than whales. Answer that, you Santa hater."


I finally shook my head and walked away.


"We hate you," the other kids yelled. "Because we're good kids who love Santa."









(This story is now public domain)

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Excellent story!

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  • 2 months later...

This story is awesome! A big thumbs up!

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