After asking some of my nearest and dearest this question, I received many horrified faces and shocked responses such as: “Of course not!” and “Why would anybody ever want to do that?” To begin with, I had the same response. Father Christmas was a magical part of my childhood and I was heartbroken when I found out the old man with the magnificent white beard didn’t shoot down my chimney on Christmas Eve. So, why boycott a treasured figure whose mission is to only bring joy and happiness to children?
I am grateful for the childhood I had. Every year, I had a loving Christmas with a filled stocking and a substantial amount of presents to open in the morning. I’d barge into my parents’ room bright and early waiting for the words “let’s see what Father Christmas has brought you” in the hope that I was at the top of his ‘good’ list. Yet, for some children, this isn’t the case.
For many families, Christmas is just as stressful as it is joyful. There is a lot of pressure for parents to overspend and buy everything that is on their child’s list written for Father Christmas. There are even children who don’t receive anything on Christmas day. With the expectation that it is Father Christmas who is the giver of their presents and not their parents, some children reach the conclusion that they aren’t deserving of the gift they asked for. This often puts parents in an awful position; one that they do not deserve to be in.
After considering the turmoil that families face each year, especially those who bankrupt themselves in order to buy the most expensive gift on the list, it is no wonder that people are quickly turning to the solution of boycotting Father Christmas. I personally believe there are other, less drastic, solutions. It is important that children are taught to be appreciative of what they receive, whether their gift be what they asked for or not. My younger cousins are told that Father Christmas has a budget, one that cannot be exceeded, because then he wouldn’t have enough for the other children in the world. All children should be made to feel special at Christmas time. That doesn’t mean that the more expensive the gift is; the more special they are.
Father Christmas does not need to be boycotted in order to spread the important message that Christmas is not about the gifts you receive, but the small acts of kindness you make. Charities need our help more than ever around this time of year and even a warm pair of socks can go a long way. Surely, the true spirit of Christmas is to embrace what you have rather than what you don’t have. And to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. So, with that in mind, maybe it isn’t Father Christmas that we need to boycott but the high expectations placed on parents to buy extravagant gifts.