Illustration to verse 1 of the children’s poem Old Santeclaus with Much Delight. 1821.
Several of Santa's modern features, such as his generosity, miracle-working, and focus on morality (being 'naughty or nice'), were part of his image from the very beginning.
Research shows that a parent’s level of generosity and charitable behaviour is linked with their child’s display of the same behaviours.
Children start developing empathy and compassion as toddlers and should have a good understanding of generosity by age nine. Here are five thoughtful ways parents can help foster these behaviours.
A former elf looks into the work that goes into an authentic Christmas experience.
A person dressed as Santa Claus waves as part of the festivities, during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
Behind today's mythical Santa Claus from the North Pole, is a real saint – St. Nicholas. How he came to be today's gift-giving jolly figure from the North Pole is a fascinating story by itself.
If they ask, tell them the truth.
Four out of five experts said no.
Even Santa can get worn out, which can lead to getting the blues.
Have you ever felt more like singing the blues during the holidays than "Deck the Halls"? You're not alone. Two psychiatrists explain why people feel blue during this time and share tips for how to take care.
What if Santa was eventually replaced by an AI robot?
What if Santa’s job is one of those taken over by an intelligent machine? Would a robot Santa begin to question its purpose and the existence of those it’s designed to serve at Christmas?
For the African-American community, Kwanzaa is not just any "black holiday. " It is a recognition that knowledge of black history is worthwhile.
Can you prove Santa Claus exists using mathematical logic?
How do you prove Santa Claus exists using mathematical logic? A review of Fry and Evan's book on the mathematics of Christmas.
Developmental psychology suggests that fantastical beliefs in children are associated with positive developmental outcomes. And parents need not worry, children will bust the Santa myth themselves, when the time is right.
There's no need for parents to bust the Santa myth. Children figure out the truth themselves, at a developmentally appropriate time. In the process, they build their reasoning skills.
Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and Stan.
How Trey Parker and Matt Stone made it for the long haul. Parental Advisory: explicit content.
Kids as young as seven have a good enough sense of logic to work out the truth and why it can be better to lie.
What's so wrong about not wanting your child to believe in Santa?
From Norway with love.
An object lesson in seasonal geopolitics.
Parents go to great lengths to make their kids believe the Santa myth.
Boglarka Bodnar/MTI via AP
Most children are not likely to believe that fish live on the moon. What makes children accept some stories and be skeptical about others?
Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus on 25 December?
Adoration of the shepherds (1622) by Gerard van Honthorst/WIkimedia Commons
Before Christmas became child-centred, Father Christmas was the personification of a mid-winter feast of merrymaking for adults – and he brought no presents.
It’s not always a bad thing to lie to your kids.
Stories about Santa can help to develop imagination, so there’s nothing wrong with bringing a little joyful magic into your child’s life.
In the Netherlands, the tradition goes that Sinterklaas lives in Madrid, wears a red clerical robe and a bishop’s mitre, and has servants called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Peters).
The celebration of Christmas has distinct variations around the world, with many of these local traditions arising from particular historical circumstances.
Is it really all Ho, Ho, Ho? Or could believing in Santa harm your child's development?
Having tough conversations with kids is important. How you do it is even more crucial.
How best do we teach our kids that the world is not always as we'd like it to be? The 'when' can be out of parents' control, but there are parts of the 'how' that are more manageable.