It was of course our invention. We, the people created him. Stout, unshaven, long haired and dressed in a ‘not so stylish’ red suit with a buckle that would send a bikie gang into apaplexy. He lands on your roof, enters your home by subterfuge, eats your bickies, drinks your milk and shoots through leaving only gifts for the whole family. Wonderful, harmless, benevolent, wishful and special. But like all things we create, we’ve managed to discover what a dastardly little worm this joker is. Some of us have decided not to believe. Why? Well to be honest I’m not sure but we are slowly killing Santa and with it Christmas. Not content with depreciating our Christian values and making short work of the story of Jesus now we’ve set about destroying what, for most children, was a trip into a world which only brought joy and happiness, but as an ardent observer I have discovered something about our culture that is just “not pretty”.

We enjoy breaking dreams! Deliberately and maliciously we are quite happy to fly our planes into the skyscrapers of the imagination, especially when those who occupy the space are young and beautifully innocent. One ‘imagination terrorist‘ – a female, advised me that children who believe in Santa Claus suffer in later life, unable to separate, fantasy from reality.

As a marketer I find this both amusing and scary. Here’s something to
think about.

While Santa is defamed for his impact on our children’s mental state and we consign Christmas to the garbage bin, we are happy to be stimulated and motivated to buy by a large, male, talking sheep who pops out of cupboards articulating advice about home loans. We don’t seem to mind drinking our favourite rum lauded by an Australian Polar Bear whose mates appear completely dismissive of their safety; we smile at an ostrich and some strange looking animals that urge us to consider the advantages of a famous telephone provider. Then there’s the jumping, all singing, dancing chocolate centred lollies; an elephant who’s addicted to home deodorant; cars that morph to people; flying Anglia’s and a best selling boy with spectacles who lives in a cupboard under the stairs when he’s not at a school with moving staircases inhabited by witches, warlocks, gnomes, goblins, ghosts etc. Yes, we’re a weird mob!

We create and we destroy and that’s my point. If we are really a species who have separated ourselves from the animals, if we are the advanced prodigy at the top of the food chain, if we are superior in intellect and thinking, then why have we yet to learn that we can build a dream and not find a need to
destroy it?

Eric Berne, an eminent psychologist wrote a book called, “The Games People Play”. In it he described us cognitively as being made up of three psychological sub-systems. ‘The Parent’, ‘The Adult’ and ‘The Child’. He postulates that when we are in perfect balance with all three of these behaviours – that is when we understand them and behave accordingly, we can truly lay claim to absolute maturity.

At Christmas it is perfectly acceptable for all of us to ‘let the child in us out to play’. It is OK to believe in Santa Claus. It’s OK to be kind, loving and nice to each other, abandoning ego and delivering our gentle imaginative selves
to others.

Long live you Santa Claus and when, we ‘get it’ – when we understand and apply our creative, imaginative self with the same unconditional love as a child – then, and only then will we have truly succeeded in making it a
joyous Christmas.

Merry, Merry Christmas, and I hope Santa brings you all your heart desires.