Posted by: malcolmjamesjwells | 17/12/2014

Is Santa a threat to our children, or has the world finally gone mad?

Here in Australia there has been talk of getting children to stand next to Santa rather than sit on his lap. How can a jolly old man in a red suit be a danger to kids, especially with their parents and a crowd of other people watching on?

The safety of children should be a priority for us all. Last year I had to obtain a Blue Card to judge schoolkids for a public speaking competition. There were a number of adults present; but I happily complied with that precaution. However the Santa lap sitting debate this week was political correctness gone mad.

We all grew up with the jolly figure of Santa in our lives. He is as much a part of Christmas as eating too much, overspending and family squabbles. Even as someone who believes the holiday is too commercialised, I do enjoy seeing the smiles on most kid’s faces when they visit Santa. Now some crackpots want to stop children sitting on the old man’s lap. I’m sure Santa must have had to get a blue card too.

At the age of four I refused to sit on his lap, but it had nothing to do with a fear of the bearded gentleman. They were photographing every child that sat on Santa’s lap and I questioned this invasion of privacy. It occurred to me my mug shot would end up in some rogues gallery of naughty kids. I would wake up to find no presents at the end of the bed. Pulling the hood of my duffle coat over my head I stood pouting in front of Santa.

He put a hand on my shoulder, and assured me “Come on little girl, I won’t bite”. I tugged away the hood, gave him my fiercest glare, “I’m not a girl” I shouted as I shrugged his hand away and stormed off. Thankfully Mum grabbed my present.

How can people warn against children sitting on Santa’s lap? Nobody questions the fact that he apparently breaks into our homes in the dead of night and leaves suspicious packages lying around.

Children often smile at me in public and I smile back. The parents will glare at me and drag their child away. I understand their fears, and that makes me sad. Too many bad things happen to children in this world, and we must take precautions; but let’s not lose perspective on this one.

The only magic most kids know is conjured up on electronic devices. Santa is someone they can touch and believe in for a while. Do these killjoys really want to rob the kids of one of the last people they feel they can trust?

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