At Christmas, the cinema offers are full of films that speak of Santa Claus, the Three Kings, magic and the illusion of children to receive gifts. Both Christmas and the Three Kings night are moments of true fantasy.
Children really believe that their Majesties will arrive, park their camels, and leave gifts for them. Is that good for them? Should we tell them the truth?
I wonder what is positive about fostering these types of beliefs in children if, after all, we are always telling them that it is bad to lie or cheat, that sincerity, as well as truth, are basic values in relationships between family and friends.
And why do we tell you this about the Three Wise Men, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter bunny ...?
I have always been a defender of fantasy, of imagination, although without exaggeration. To begin with, I believe that these popular beliefs come from the hand of the tradition that we pass on from parents to children and that are part of our culture.
On the other hand, fantasy as well as imagination are important ingredients for the emotional development of children.
They represent a balm, a relief to so much reality that they live and that many times they do not understand. Children need to have a space where fantasy mixes with reality.
That is part of childhood and a way for them to understand the world little by little. Far from being and adopting the consumerist sense of these customs, I believe that you can take advantage of these beliefs, although I remain in doubt if it is not better for parents to decide whether their children deserve a gift or the opposite, or it would be better for the Magi to choose if a gift for good behavior or a piece of coal (candy) for bad behavior.
Making the children write a letter to the Three Kings, knowing that this letter will end up hidden in a drawer in the house, is it lying to them? I think not. I did it, I also believed in all that. And I also remember the moment when I learned that the Kings were my parents. I caught them, at dawn, putting my gift at the foot of the Christmas tree. I didn't tell them anything, I didn't want to take away their illusion.
That is where I think lies the essence of these beliefs. Children are not the only ones who live magic, parents also live it, and how! There are parents, like my daughter's, who drew camel footprints on the living room floor.
I liked having to drink some of the wine and eat a bite of the roscón de reyes that my daughter left on the table for them. Sure, someone had to eat them, right? And you, do you follow these traditional ones at home? Do your children still believe in the Magi? What do you think of all that? I would like to know.
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