The Naughty List

Bringing the normalized lies parents tell their kids during the holidays to light.

Nidhi Kuchulakanti, Body Copy Editor

As the holiday season nears, kids start to await Santa’s appearance and convince the alarming Elf on the Shelf that they’ve been good. All year, children work exceptionally hard in hopes to get plenty of presents on Christmas. However, as these children grow up, they come to find out that these stories are simply nothing but tales. Where do these popular tales root from?

Jerusha Ondra, math teacher at Troy High, speaks on her beliefs in regards to lying to her children about these tales. She said, 

“I think that’s part of being a kid, being able to believe in something that’s magical. That’s like the innocence and the joy of childhood.”

Many parents seem to think that the tales of Elf on the Shelf and Santa are magical and it’s important to replenish their children’s youth–and that seems to be quite true. Although it is devastating when children come to find out that their childhood heroes are simply myths, it is also important to protect their innocence and allow them to live their childhood as happily as they can be. 

However, some parents think differently. Lisa Knudson, teacher at Troy High, was asked how she felt about Santa/Elf on the Shelf and if she did it with her kids.

“Being on social media and seeing parents get way too into it who spend all night prepping the next scene for the next day, it’s great for them but I just don’t have the time for it–it’s weird.”

Many people’s opinions differ on whether or not Santa and Elf on the Shelf is a creepy myth, but a fair number of kids who are asked tend to believe in these tales. 

At the parenting class held at Troy High, young children were asked how they feel about the Elf on the Shelf, Santa and the holidays. When asked about what she was most excited for during the holidays, one young girl said, 

“I’m most excited for the presents.”

A young boy also in the parenting class was asked what he thought about Santa, and he said, 

“I like Santa and I like how he looks.”

Childhood myths are a very important part of most children’s lives. Children associate them with happy moments and many children who believe in the Elf on the Shelf and Santa have the ability to enjoy their youth while they still have the chance to. 

It is still quite controversial on whether or not parents should be lying to their kids about the Elf on the Shelf and Santa, yet most kids have good feelings and associate happy memories with these myths. That being said, is it rational for parents to lie to their children about these fantasies?