Don’t kill Santa just yet

By Samuel Charles

Longtime FOX Chicago news anchor Robin Robinson finds herself in a bit of hot water right now. On the Dec. 1 newscast, there was a short segment regarding how shopping mall Santa Clauses are helping parents by—somewhat—curbing the Christmas desires of their children.

The segment itself, presented by Robinson’s co-anchor and Columbia alumnus Bob Sirott, was a nice little puff piece that actually offered some worthwhile insight about how parents can let their children down more gingerly.

After the segment concluded, though, Robinson seemed to channel her inner Scrooge—Sirott referred to her as “Ebenezer”—as she went on a rant about how as soon as children can talk, they should learn the truth about Santa Claus’ existence.

She referred to him as a symbol for the generous nature the holiday should evoke in people, which is completely true.

Now, I don’t practice any religion. I am an atheist. I believe that what is here and now is all that there is to experience. But that doesn’t mean I agree with what

Robinson did.

She was out of line in a few ways. She should have had the foresight to predict the backlash—as justified as it was—against her and her lapse of judgment. She was speaking on behalf of herself and her own views on the holiday, which is a bad idea at a party, and even worse on live TV.

If you were raised believing in Santa Claus, think back to your childhood.

How crushed would you have been if one day, maybe when you were five—hopefully long after you learned how to talk—your parents told you Santa Claus didn’t exist?

As overused and cliched as the phrase “innocence lost” is, it’s the most apt description of that very scenario.

I found out Santa didn’t exist when I was eight years old. Two weeks or so before Christmas, my mom told me not to go into our attic, but she wouldn’t say why. So, like any young journalist worth his salt, my curiosity was piqued. Upon climbing the stairs to the attic, I saw all the wondrous toys I’d receive in a few weeks.

I genuinely wish I’d never done that.

It’s completely unfair to pin so many different problems on the next two generations. An energy policy with no direction, global warming, population increases and a still anemic economy will plague my generation and future ones for decades. We’re cashing the check our parents and grandparents wrote. There’s no justice

in that.

So, since their lives will be filled with problems, why not let kids have some sense of mental purity while they can?