Stephanie Boyden, a British mom of six, is rightfully furious after teachers at her 11 year-old daughter’s school admitted that Santa Claus is not, in fact, real.
Boyden has accused staff at Nicholas Chamberlaine School in Coventry, England of “ruining the magic of Christmas,” after they made the announcement in an assembly. She told The Daily Mail that the children were told that they “need to know the truth” about Santa.
Writing on Facebook, she added: “I’m not happy … this may seem silly to some people but I’m all for keeping kids imagination young as long as I can!”
Boyden explained to The Daily Mail that her daughter sat on her bed saying, “Santa isn’t real is he?” Shocked, Boyden wanted to know who had told her such a thing and was upset to find out it had been the school.
She added, “I couldn’t believe it, it has been my choice to keep my children believing, they have taken the magic of Christmas away from her.”
Boyden has taken to Facebook to start hashtag #webelieve, to garner support for keeping the magic of Christmas alive — and she isn’t alone.
My own friend Louise told me last week how a fellow parent had explained the truth about Santa to his five-year-old – down to the bit about parents taking bites out of the mince pies (or cookies if you’re in the U.S.) that children leave out for Santa. Apparently, this parent doesn’t want to bring his daughter up with “lies.” Which is all well and good for him except his child then told the entire class — including Louise’s daughter.
Louise and her husband were understandably furious, having to then work twice as hard to convince their daughter that Santa was real. They also have a three-year-old son and were determined that he would get years of enjoyment rather than having the fantasy crushed at such a young age.
Look, we are all well aware that children will eventually work out the truth. For me, it was only last year when my family was away skiing and my son opened a cupboard in our room that held all the stocking fillers. He looked directly at me, I remained silent, and he just closed the cupboard again. Thankfully, we acted like it had never happened and went about our lives.
I have to agree with Boyden though – it is one thing if your child stumbles upon their presents (and as kids we did the same, rooting around until we found them) but it is another having that decision taken out of your hands.
Moms I know from school have felt pressure to tell their children the truth when they reach a certain age and other children spill the beans. But is there ever a “right” age to debunk the myth?
Boyden hit back at critics who said her daughter is too old to believe in Santa Claus. She told the Coventry Telegraph, “Yes, she is in secondary school but she has just turned 11 and I have always kept the magic going with all of my children for as long as I could.”
I’m with her on this one – Santa is a huge part of Christmas for my kids and ruining it for children is nothing short of cruel.
Boyden eventually got an apology from the school but of course by then, the damage had been done.
For anyone who once believed in Santa Claus, I’m sure you can remember how crushing it was to learn the truth. (For me, it was Mark Donaghy who broke the news when I was 10.) It’s time we let the Christmas magic stay alive for as long as possible and let parents decide when their kids discover the truth.