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  #1  
Old 12-02-2011, 09:41 AM
willthekittensurvive? willthekittensurvive? is offline
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No , VIRGINIA, there is no Santa Claus

in the spirit of Only 24 days left in the War on Christmas!
Quote:
"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

"VIRGINIA O'HANLON.
"115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET."

I say we give Virginia the straight dope

no room for silly superstition our modern world

how would you reply?
be blunt if you must, kind if you want to
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2011, 10:41 AM
Hilary Algar Hilary Algar is offline
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Well, our very own Cecil Adams had a masterful treatise on this very topic on 12/26/1997 where he concludes that "Santa Claus' existence cannot be definitely ruled out."

good enough for me

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-a-santa-claus
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2011, 10:45 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Ah.
Another person signing up for the War On Fun.

__________________
FRIENDS! ROMANS! COUNTRY BUMPKINS!
Lend me your auditory canals!
Ask not what your clones can do for you, but what you can do for country music!
Never in the field of conflict was so much owed by so many who only had a few!
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2011, 10:58 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Today, of course, the question woulfd be posted on the internet, and we would coclude, as usual, that "Virginia" was really a fat, balding, fifty-something year old guy masquerading as a girl.


Sorry, Santa, there is no Virginia.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2011, 11:58 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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"Humbug! Humbug!"

"humbug, Mr. Baldrick?"

Last edited by BMalion; 12-02-2011 at 11:59 AM..
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  #6  
Old 12-02-2011, 12:24 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Ms Viginia O'Hanlon
It has come to our attention that you are expressing interest in the individual known as Claus, Santa. This individual is presently being held in a secure facility after violating US borders, and under enhanced interrogation has admitted to Al Qaeda ties, as well as the intent to leave incendiary material in the homes he deemed "naughty". What is your interest in this person, and what information can you provide about him and his activities?
Dept. of Homeland Security
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2011, 12:35 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Only 7 left in stock.

Add to cart
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2011, 01:16 PM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
Ms Viginia O'Hanlon
It has come to our attention that you are expressing interest in the individual known as Claus, Santa. This individual is presently being held in a secure facility after violating US borders, and under enhanced interrogation has admitted to Al Qaeda ties, as well as the intent to leave incendiary material in the homes he deemed "naughty". What is your interest in this person, and what information can you provide about him and his activities?
Dept. of Homeland Security
I presume you know Arlo Guthrie's "The Pause of Mr. Claus"...

Santa Claus has a red suit
Must be a Communist
And a beard, and long hair
Must be a pacifist
What's in the pipe that he's smoking?...
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2011, 01:34 PM
SenorBeef SenorBeef is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilary Algar View Post
Well, our very own Cecil Adams had a masterful treatise on this very topic on 12/26/1997 where he concludes that "Santa Claus' existence cannot be definitely ruled out."

good enough for me

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...-a-santa-claus
Well, it's the exact same argument presented in debates on religion here, which dress themselves up as intellectual..

I actually think Santa is a really good lesson in skepticism for our children. We trick children into believing that there's this benevolent being that's always watching over them, watching them at all times to evaluate their behavior, and rewarding good behavior. Our culture embraces this guy, your peers and those you trust are telling you he's real, and you're forming a real emotional stake in his existance.

And then the rug is pulled out from under your feet. Oh, ha ha, yes, there's no magic guy who somehow delivers presents to the whole world in one night. It was always your parents all along, tricking you. Even though you were so sure in your heart that Santa must be real, well, no, there's just no magic there. Sorry.

I wonder how many kids were put on a path to rationalism and skepticism by the Santa revelation. The only difference with religion is that the parents sincerely believe along with the kids. Breaking the Santa myth is psychologically a good step in developing the tools to question other myths.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 12-02-2011 at 01:35 PM..
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2011, 02:00 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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There certainly is something intagible known as "Christmas spirit". If someone wants to give the intangible a coporeal body and call it "Santa Claus", who am I to argue?
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2011, 03:58 PM
Ibanez Ibanez is offline
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I got one better, up here if the kids still believes he exists. One environmentalist up here is going after children with the hopes I suppose it sends the kids crying to their parents.

The fatman is going to drown Virginia.
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2011, 05:09 PM
Yllaria Yllaria is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjepson View Post
I presume you know Arlo Guthrie's "The Pause of Mr. Claus"...

Santa Claus has a red suit
Must be a Communist
And a beard, and long hair
Must be a pacifist
What's in the pipe that he's smoking?...
No, I didn't. Now I must get a copy.

Personally, I wish I had thought to tell my children the story of St. Nicholas and the prostitutes. No stocking should be hung without that tender memory.
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  #13  
Old 12-02-2011, 06:02 PM
Sr Siete Sr Siete is online now
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"Dear Virginia.

"It's the 21st century.

"Google it.
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2011, 08:41 PM
salinqmind salinqmind is offline
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Andy Rooney once said, "there is a Santa Claus, but he doesn't always show up" - words to that effect.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2011, 08:52 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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"Dear Virginia,

Daddy is stupid. Looking at the sun is bad for you."
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  #16  
Old 12-02-2011, 09:25 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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Yes, Virginia, there is an Abdullah Rashid al-Baghdad

Last edited by pravnik; 12-02-2011 at 09:26 PM..
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  #17  
Old 12-02-2011, 09:26 PM
pravnik pravnik is offline
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..

Last edited by pravnik; 12-02-2011 at 09:27 PM..
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  #18  
Old 12-03-2011, 11:56 AM
Gukumatz Gukumatz is offline
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I prefer Terry Pratchett's version of it, as in the Hogfather. I like to think that this is one of the little lies we tell children to condition ourselves as human beings to believe in the big lies, like peace, democracy, justice and hope.

Well, Virginia - would it be better if I said he existed or if I said to you that there are, right at this moment, hundreds of thousands of adults there working to make it like he existed?

Last edited by Gukumatz; 12-03-2011 at 11:56 AM..
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  #19  
Old 12-03-2011, 04:08 PM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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Next you'll tell us there's no Hanukkah Harry, yeah right.
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  #20  
Old 12-03-2011, 04:47 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Well, it's the exact same argument presented in debates on religion here, which dress themselves up as intellectual..

I actually think Santa is a really good lesson in skepticism for our children. We trick children into believing that there's this benevolent being that's always watching over them, watching them at all times to evaluate their behavior, and rewarding good behavior. Our culture embraces this guy, your peers and those you trust are telling you he's real, and you're forming a real emotional stake in his existance.

And then the rug is pulled out from under your feet. Oh, ha ha, yes, there's no magic guy who somehow delivers presents to the whole world in one night. It was always your parents all along, tricking you. Even though you were so sure in your heart that Santa must be real, well, no, there's just no magic there. Sorry.
Except that, I never felt tricked. I never had the rug pulled out from under my feet. At some age, I realized that "Santa Claus" was a benevolent conspiracy to make me, and all children, happy. Santa Claus was my parents arranging for me to have toys and candy and happy surprises, without them taking credit for it. Which, when you're old enough to appreciate it, is a more wonderful and heart-gladdening thing than the literal existence of a fat elf in a red suit who lives at the North Pole.

So today what I believe is that Santa Claus is a symbol of, or metaphor for, something that really does exist.

Last edited by Thudlow Boink; 12-03-2011 at 04:48 PM..
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  #21  
Old 12-03-2011, 05:59 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is offline
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Get Robin Robinson to tell them.
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  #22  
Old 12-03-2011, 09:39 PM
astorian astorian is offline
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A simple basic answer from someone who thinks Santa Claus is a fun, harmless tradition:

As soon as a kid is old enough to ask questions on ANY topic, he/she is old enough to hear an honest answer. If "Virginia" believed in Santa Claus with all her heart at age 8, I think you'd have to be a jerk to butt in and tell her, "It's all bogus."

But 8 is about the age when most kids start to figure out the whole thing is impossible. If Virginia is starting to ask, "Is this real," she's old enough to be told, "No, it's just a fun game we play at Christmas time."
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  #23  
Old 12-05-2011, 10:11 PM
sbunny8 sbunny8 is offline
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For years I lived by the rule that I would keep silent unless a child specifically asked me about Santa and then when asked I would tell the truth. Then one day I slipped up. I was watching two young children doing their homework, one of them studying the Solar System. He said something about Mars being cold and I agreed and said something about how even the north pole is a relatively nice climate compared to Mars and nobody lives at the north pole so just think how hard it would be to try to live on Mars. Then the younger child piped up "SANTA Claus lives at the north pole!". oops. now what.

I backpedaled and said something like "umm I meant nobody like you and me lives at the north pole", then got the hell out of there before I made his parents angry.
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  #24  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:53 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lute Skywatcher View Post
There certainly is something intagible known as "Christmas spirit". If someone wants to give the intangible a coporeal body and call it "Santa Claus", who am I to argue?
This. A co-worker was worried about having to tell her 7 year old <eventually> that Santa doesn't exist as a person. I thought about it, and realized that none of us four kids ever had that 'revelation'. My dad always presented the season as a time of Christmas spirit, and embodying that spirit on earth, as humans, as often as possible. And I don't remember ever dropping off that existential cliff; I wonder if it's worth a vote here, to find out how many people were disappointed as kids when they 'found out'?
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  #25  
Old 12-05-2011, 11:55 PM
Taomist Taomist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Except that, I never felt tricked. I never had the rug pulled out from under my feet. At some age, I realized that "Santa Claus" was a benevolent conspiracy to make me, and all children, happy. Santa Claus was my parents arranging for me to have toys and candy and happy surprises, without them taking credit for it. Which, when you're old enough to appreciate it, is a more wonderful and heart-gladdening thing than the literal existence of a fat elf in a red suit who lives at the North Pole.

So today what I believe is that Santa Claus is a symbol of, or metaphor for, something that really does exist.
This, too. I actually asked my mom last week if any of us had to be told there was no Santa, and she said nope. The times my folks got 'busted' with presents or whatnot, they just said they were 'Santa's helpers', and that was that.

I remember once sneaking my dad's keys on Christmas Eve, and waking up in the middle of the night to shake the keys going downstairs to my brothers' room, to make them think Santa was here...they didn't fall for it. We all ogled the presents for a while and then went back to bed until a more reasonable time, lol.
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  #26  
Old 12-06-2011, 09:16 AM
Wheelz Wheelz is offline
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My wife received the following e-mail from her 9-year-old nephew last week:
Quote:
santa is a fake

today I found out santa isn't real you simply just help my mom set up gifts and [uncle Wheelz] eats the cookies.

I can't believe you've tricked me for 8 years
We both busted a gut laughing at that. We know he was getting skeptical the past couple of years, so I'm sure there was no big traumatic epiphany here. He decided to yank our chains a bit in retaliation for yanking his.
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  #27  
Old 12-06-2011, 09:47 AM
Count Blucher Count Blucher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willthekittensurvive? View Post
in the spirit of Only 24 days left in the War on Christmas!



I say we give Virginia the straight dope

no room for silly superstition our modern world

how would you reply?
be blunt if you must, kind if you want to
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

But...do we reeeeaaally want to clog our streets with a fat old man, a sled, and some truly disgusting reindeer? Whose supposed to clean up after those reindeer anyway, Virginia? Its certainly not in my Sanitation Dept budget.
We're way over budget now, after bull-dozing all those disturbing radicals away from our pristine and clean center of commerce, Wall Street. And your Daddy doesn't want to pay anymore taxes... so... I'm afraid that that's that.

Which is why I'm taking this opportunity to roll out the Next phase of my "Quality of Life" initiative. Starting this December, NYC will officially begin phasing out Santa Claus. Don't get me wrong, you're still welcome to shop at MACYs.
We haven't made children walking in public illegal yet, of course. Then again, if I'm elected to another term, I reserve the right to revisit the subject.

Your Benevolent Ruler,

High Lord Mayor Bloomberg
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  #28  
Old 12-06-2011, 11:35 AM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibanez View Post
I got one better, up here if the kids still believes he exists. One environmentalist up here is going after children with the hopes I suppose it sends the kids crying to their parents.

The fatman is going to drown Virginia.
He's going to drown Virginia? That even beats superdickery into a cocked hat.
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  #29  
Old 12-06-2011, 01:17 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sr Siete View Post
"Dear Virginia.

"It's the 21st century.

"Google it.
Of course, when you google "Is there a Santa Claus?" the first hit is -- an 1897 editorial addressed to Virginia O'Hanlon in the New York Sun.
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  #30  
Old 12-06-2011, 01:22 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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When I was in 2nd grade, we all wrote letters to Santa Claus that were going to be published in some local paper or something. All of them, not just randomly selected ones.

So anyway, being the smart-ass second grader and skeptic that I was, I wrote in my letter to Santa that I knew he wasn't real, that it was Mom and Dad who put the presents under the tree and drank the milk and ate the cookies. I was so proud of myself for having figured it all out, AND that it was getting published in the paper! yay!

Well when my mom and dad read my little letter, they were NONE too pleased. I remember I got sent to bed that Christmas eve being told that what I did was wrong and insensitive. My dad read to me the other letters, about kids asking for toys and things for their family, and how selfish it was of me to write what I had written.

I felt genuinely sad and apologized and things were better on Christmas day, but my family would NOT let me live it down for a while.

Last edited by drewtwo99; 12-06-2011 at 01:23 PM..
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  #31  
Old 12-06-2011, 02:10 PM
That Don Guy That Don Guy is offline
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"Is there a Santa Claus?" That's one question.

"Is there a Santa Claus that delivers presents?" That's another question entirely.

I remember, decades ago, seeing someone explain why Santa doesn't give expensive presents to poor kids by saying, "Santa's just the delivery man - we pay him for the presents."

"But why bring them presents, when Santa will do?"
"It's a clause in their contract: if we don't, they can sue!" - Animaniacs
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  #32  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:27 AM
Gorbag Gorbag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
I wonder how many kids were put on a path to rationalism and skepticism by the Santa revelation. The only difference with religion is that the parents sincerely believe along with the kids. Breaking the Santa myth is psychologically a good step in developing the tools to question other myths.
I wonder how many kids were put onto the path of believing the government is Santa Claus when the first one didn't work out so well.
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  #33  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:51 AM
ducati ducati is offline
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When our son was in 6th grade, as Christmas approached he would mention Santa here and there.
"Santa will bring me one", and so on.

My wife corners me and says "you can't let him go around middle school telling kids that he still believes in Santa. They'lll laugh at him and tease him. Go tell him."

We argued back and forth, even both speculating that he knows, but is just going along, playing his part. We came to the conclusion that he must already know, so we're not really ruining anything.

And so at bedtime that night, I laid it all out as gently as I could. Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny - the works. And as he looked at me telling him these things, tears started rolling down his face. He finally hung his head and just cried, and I've never wanted to walk into an airplane propeller more than I did at that moment.

My cowardly advice? Don't be the one to reach out and crush your child's dreams and hopes and happiness. I've never felt more shitty in all my life!

Let the older kids spill the beans and you take the rap for being Santa without actually being the hit-man!
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  #34  
Old 12-09-2011, 11:03 AM
DZedNConfused DZedNConfused is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducati View Post
ything.

And so at bedtime that night, I laid it all out as gently as I could. Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny - the works. And as he looked at me telling him these things, tears started rolling down his face. He finally hung his head and just cried, and I've never wanted to walk into an airplane propeller more than I did at that moment.
How horrible for you! I would have possibly gone the seppuku route after that!

By the time, I decided to stop having Santa deliver, my son was about to decide on his own there was no Santa, he fussed a little but since he got the same kinds of things, I think the leap wasn't to hard.

I figured it out when I decided Santa couldn't possibly write my name in my Mother's handwriting.
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