It’s Christmastime once again, but have you ever noticed why some toddlers are inexplicably afraid of the mall Santa Claus?
By: Ringo Bones
If you haven’t witnessed kids under 7 years of age who are totally inexplicably afraid of Santa Claus – or his Yuletide Season shopping mall impersonator – you probably live in a place where celebrating the Western “capitalist commercialized” version of Christmas is outlawed. In my experience – I think it’s as frequent as 1 in 4 kids under 7 years of age are inexplicably afraid of Santa Claus - or someone dressed as the traditional Western/Christian Santa Claus – as in “Mall Santas”. Is there any logical explanation for this inexplicable childhood phobia?
Even though an overwhelming number of these kids tend to outgrow their “Santa Phobia” by age 8, it might have something to do with humanity’s innate “Freudian” defense mechanism to avoid “stranger-danger”. As in children are instinctually preprogrammed to view grown-up strangers – especially one with an overflowing white beard and dressed like a Central Asian Sufi Muslim cleric suddenly appearing during that time of the year where days get shorter and the mercury in the thermometer goes way down with a certain wariness.
But most parents view this explanation as “academic bunkum” because to them – they believe that Santa Claus is based on a Christian saint named Saint Nicholas who appears every Christmastime to remind everyone to be a little more generous with their gift-giving. Thus, most parents just keep on insisting to place their hysterically fearful kids into a mall Santa’s lap while they go shop for some item they don’t necessarily need. Although, if “Sana Phobia” persists even when the kids are at 12 years of age, it might be a sign of a far more serious neurosis and they may need professional help.