Your Parenting Info Sign Up

Santa Can’t Deliver Flying Ponies!

by Lori Sciame | December 8th, 2011 | Preschool

Great expectations. That’s what preschoolers have when it comes to gifts from Santa. Take my oldest son, for example. One Christmas he asked Santa for the Taj Mahal. You know, the colossal building located in India? As you can imagine, Santa did his best to fulfill a young child’s wishes, but on Christmas morning, my son exploded into tears when instead of the real Taj Mahal, the guy in the red suit had left only a scale model.

I learned my lesson the hard way; preschoolers believe in magic, such as Santa, the tooth fairy, and the Easter Bunny; however, sometimes the expectations children have of these mythical figures can get out of hand.

When I was little, I used to ask Santa for simple things: Barbies, records, and coloring books. Never in my wildest dreams would I have asked for a building, let alone one of the most famous buildings in India!

My parents, the media, and society in general presented Santa differently in those days. A benevolent old man, one who cared for all, he made sure that each child had a gift to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Now, with the plethora of Christmas shows, many of which show Santa lavishing young children with every heart’s desire, the expectations of what will be left under the tree has risen dramatically.

It seems as if some parents have bought into Santa’s magical powers as well. Just last week I learned that a friend of a friend is giving her five year-old an iPhone (from Santa of course). Can you imagine what the other children in this girl’s class will think when they see her fiddling with the apps? Or maybe, all the parents in the class agree that Santa should be able to bring such extravagant gifts?

This reminds me of my dear aunt who used to spoil her three little girls with literally dozens of gifts on Christmas morning. Santa brought every toy that a child could have wanted. For a few years, the girls had so much “stuff” that much of it was thrown away without ever being really played with. Why did my aunt do this? She was dying of cancer. She wanted to make memories that would last a life time for the girls. She did this with the best of intentions, yet she didn’t realize she had set her children up for disappointment when Santa wasn’t nearly as generous the year after her death (or ever again).

My point is that a parent needs to temper a child’s view of Santa. Instead of telling your preschooler that Santa can bring anything, make sure to place some sort of limit on his gift-giving powers. Assist your preschooler with making out his or her list, and if your son or daughter wishes for an outrageous gift, such as a flying pony, make sure to discuss the probability he or she won’t receive that gift. Learn from my mistake…Santa can do a lot, but he can’t fulfill every desire!

Comments on Santa Can’t Deliver Flying Ponies!