Christmas Magic

Is it okay to tell kids tales to make them behave on Christmas?

Christmas Magic

The many tales told around during the holiday seasons are what make the holiday so great. The repeated traditions that families share make not only Christmas, but the whole month of December one of the most enjoyable times of the year.

However, some legends are better kept quiet.

Behaving during the Christmas season is one of the easiest times because of the general “jolly” environment resulting from the close coming of the holiday season.

As a child, Christmas is no doubt the most awaited day of the year. Tales like Krampus or Elf on a shelf, told by adults to get children to behave, are more of a punishment rather than a privilege. The children whose parents take time out of their busy lives to help embrace the holiday spirit and make it all the more special, no strings attached, are truly recognized; unlike those who would rather tell the creepy tales that tend to scare children into behaving.

“I like behaving around Christmas because I know if I do, Christmas morning will be better,” sophomore Joana Matia said, “I also behave to show my parents how thankful I am.”

The tales told make the holiday season something to look forward to. Behaving for the month not only will make parents happy, but will create an overall better relationship within the family (at least for a little bit). During the holiday season, families are brought together by annual traditions that will be passed down generation to generation.

“I’ve always loved my family’s Christmas traditions,” senior Hailee Walsmley said. “I actually looked forward to behaving around Christmas time when I was little.”

The annual repetition of good behavior is something to glorify as a kid because of the rewarding Christmas gifts received.
For example, in the recent past my family has a adopted a new tradition named the Elf on the Shelf. This character has been growing in popularity in the recent years and the little kids love it. Our family elf is named Gabe and he comes on the first day of December. The purpose of Gabe is to watch how the kids are behaving and report what happened throughout the day to Santa. After he makes his long journey from the North Pole, he comes to our home and moves to a new spot every day.
“He watches us all the time and he makes me feel happy,” seven year old Mia Laino said. “Gabe makes it really feel like Christmas.”

Other tales may not be as excited and joyous. The Austro-Bavarian Alpine folklore, Krampus, most recently being brought mainstream in a horror Christmas movie, is known as Saint Nicholas’ “alter ego”. Krampus is an evil spirt who punishes children who do not behave and when the Christmas spirit is lost.

“I think it may be an extreme to tell your kids that story,” senior Mitchell Fraser said. “It’s very grim and excessively violent. It may be a bit too much for kids to undertstand, especially because they’re so susceptible at young ages.”

As the holidays come and go, so do new and old Christmas traditions and tales, good or bad. Each year, kids are told tales that not only help them enjoy the present and behave around Christmas, but will allow kids of the future enjoy the long-awaited month of December.