How to prove to your kids that Santa Claus is real

“Adam Wilson’s children know Santa and his elves are real. Sure, the candy canes and notes that the elves leave around their house at this time of year could have been planted by sneaky parents,” John Tozzi reports for Businessweek. “But Wilson has more convincing evidence on his iPhone: footage of elves in the Wilson’s house.”

““For eons, kids have always wanted proof that there’s Santa and there’s elves,” says Wilson, a 40-year-old digital creative director at ad agency Mcgarrybowen in Chicago,” Tozzi reports. “The app is called Santa Spy Cam, and it’s been downloaded 170,000 times since it made its debut in the iTunes store on Nov. 18″

“The idea took shape last year, when Wilson’s four kids became obsessed with the Elf on the Shelf,” Tozzi reports. “For the uninitiated, that’s a popular storybook that comes with a toy elf doll that, parents say, monitors whether children behave well enough to deserve gifts on Christmas morning.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Ellis D.” for the heads up.]


  1. When I was a wee lad in the first grade, (or was it second,) the teacher asked us to draw Santa. Little did Ms. Monday know that she’d just placed me in the very first difficult moral dilemma of my life.

    When she looked at my paper, I’d drawn a scribble mess instead of any kind of a Santa. These days she’d probably just pass it off to a learning disability and have me drugged until I eventually failed my way out of high school. Instead Ms. Monday wondered why, when I was perfectly capable of rendering dogs, cats, rats, cops, and mailmen, could I not draw Santa.

    “Don’t you want to draw Santa?” she asked.
    I shook my head no.
    “Why?” she asked.
    I replied, “Daddy says no white man is coming down our chimney, it all lies.” I hadn’t even dealt with the problem of not having a chimney yet.

    So I got to draw a dog, with a Santa hat on.

    Had I told her what he really said, it would have sounded more like:

    “No *&^** bearded white man is coming down any ^^&*^ chimney and giving you shit. I work for everything you have. I pay for everything you have. I take *&^*& *&^*&^^%^&**(*^%^&%%%&&**))))*&%%^^%&&&^ from *&^*&(*^ ^*&*&^*^%%*& %%&&(*^&* white people 16 hours a day (he worked 2 jobs) so that you can have a place to live, food to eat and (*^^&**)*&^% presents at Christmas. White folks lie to their kids about this *&^*&^, don’t let me ever hear you talking about no ^*&&(( Santa Claus.”

    I remember him yelling. I remember my mother arguing with him about it. She says I never said a word about Santa again.

    After that my steel trap mind could see a lie coming from a mile away. The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, The boogie man, were all easily spotted, along with god, etc.

    Ironically I’ve lived a life of luxury compared to him, primarily thanks to his work ethic, and I’ve experienced little discernible or overt racism directly. I grew up in a completely different world.

    Still I always thought that had I been fortunate enough to find some sick woman willing to marry me, that I would tell any children we had that no, there really is no Santa Claus right from the very beginning. I think doing so ignites a tendency toward rational thinking that cannot be reversed.

    1. God as the “ground of all being” and the foundation of all Platonic Ideals is truth. St. Paul and John, especially, got that. Jesus, too, incidentally. “Son of Man,” the title he uses for himself (from the OT) is an explicit reference to how he saw himself as the next step for humanity — living and embodying truth. “Son of God” therefore is the same: The next step of understanding of God — that we embody God when we live in and through truth…

      So yeah, put the bearded god with a tally book on your list with the Tooth Fairy, but leave God off. The God that is God is.

            1. So, believe or don’t. Neither side can prove the other wrong, so let’s just try to get along.

              Oh, and thanks for the Tom Petty quote. I love that guy’s music.

          1. Things that you can’t otherwise explain and therefore attribute to a convenient catch all fiction are not evidence. Science does not have all the answers, it might not definitively have any, but it doesn’t claim to, it also doesn’t make things up. If you have the picture of what a jigsaw should look like and lots of the pieces, you can make a reasonable assumption about what the rest of the pieces will be, albeit not their exact individual shapes.

            A common argument is that evolution has to have had a creative hand behind it because we’re too complex, too beautiful to exist by “chance”. The solution to this is that some infinitely more beautiful and more complex being must have created us. That’s where the argument stops, no questioning where this creator came from, no querying that the answer to the question is essentially the same question but written large.

            1. Actually, everything you can see is, in fact evidence. It is how you interpret the evidence that defines or refines or even redefines your model of the world.

              Second, science makes things up all the time. That’s one of the core pieces of scientific theory. You crate a hypothesis that models all of the known evidence, then creates experiments to test the hypothesis. These experiments will ideally either confirm or invalidate the hypothesis.

              Just as there are many religious views of the world, there are also differing scientific theories to explain various phenomena. They can’t all be right as most of them are contradictory.

              Ultimately, we can’t yet prove anything much yet. When we die, we will either know we were right, or know we were wrong, or know nothing.

            2. Science makes things up to fit observable information, with the possibility that those theories will be refined or even shown to be completely wrong as time progresses. Religion made stuff up based on an even more limited understanding of our universe and has stuck with it – apart from the higher ups occasionally changing things of their own accord, or interpreting stories (that may well have been mistranslated anyway). Everything is evidence, but the evidence has to fit in with other things. You can’t just pick up a blue piece of a jigsaw, determine that the whole thing is sky and then stick with that for thousands of years.

            3. Any evidence won’t have been subject to any vigorous scientific scrutiny because they didn’t have the knowledge/technology to do it. The only acceptable evidence would be seeing/hearing God, and maybe they did, but he’s been bloody quiet since that early busy period. As such, the only thing people have to rely on know is old books which could easily have been made up. Old science books can be looked at and the results either replicated or shown to be wrong. If they’re shown to be wrong then (good) science accepts that and moves on. I don’t believe in science, I have no opinion on it either way, if something is subsequently shown to be wrong I celebrate it and move on. Religion is not open to the possibility of error in the same way science is, yet claims it should have the same credibility given to it as science.

      1. Sounds like you already have the God version. My Zeus add on is a lot more fun though, now that is a God worth following those super powers are simply amazing to behold, without it you just hang around sing a bit and wait for the second coming.

    2. Wow. Often I think the world today needs less bullshit and more straight talk.

      I do remember figuring out the “there is no Santa” thing for myself after finding the presents (that I knew Santa was supposed to be bringing) stuffed in the back of my mother’s closet a few weeks before Christmas. I felt very clever and proud of myself for solving the mystery, but on the other hand I felt kinda stupid that I’d been duped for so long!

  2. So what Gods of all those that humans have believed in don’t exist now and what is the evidence that they now, then or ever did or didn’t exist. And the bigger question maybe why did those people who believed in them, were they wrong but modern believers right? After all many were believed in far longer than the present ones. Or maybe they are all the same one(s) playing games with us.

  3. Even as an adult, I’m still unclear about point of Santa Claus. I suspect it’s meant to encourage healthy skepticism and atheism among children. It’s certainly a very effective if over-the-top demonstration of how parents, authority figures, and the media can deliberately lie about anything. It’s just so weird something like that can be mainstream given how much it undermines the credibility of everyone who perpetuates it.

    Maybe I’m over thinking it, and it’s really about the sheer joy and unbridled fun of lying to kids.

      1. Uh huh. So it’s about poetic and eloquent bullshit.

        I think that writing style and themes could make a positive impression outside of the naive if it was based on something genuine.

        1. In 1897, that was considered genuine. I understand that evidentiary standards are far more stringent in this comparatively enlightened age. The fantasies of long-ago visionaries are eye-rolling stuff today. Poetry is mumbo-jumbo. Rhetoric is a discredited science, eloquence its last echo. The only enduring truths are in the deep emotional substrate shared by all mammals, a place of being and feeling that can only be denied by those still possessed with intelligence but whose basic compassion is damaged beyond repair.

    1. It is an excellent theme for a debate.

      When I was little, I was rather quick to develop suspicion (around 7), since the only incarnation of Santa known to me was at my mother’s office, and it bore striking resemblance to my mom’s colleague from work (who donned the suit to entertain the children of the office). My parents tried keeping up the ruse, but I kept doubting (not quite certain of it, though).

      As an adult and a father, to me, it is a source of great joy to observe my children during this time of year. Their preocupation by Santa’s perception of their behaviour, as well as the anticipation of his arrival, the attempts at communicating to him their wishes, all this is just incredibly precious. Children are usually pure, sincere and genuine, and this sincerity is usually expressed in most perfect way through this Santa Claus ritual.

      I do occasionally think about the inevitable disappointment that comes on the realisation of truth, though.

      1. The importance of ritual in all our social development is paramount. Their stages and points of emergence are well known. Why would anyone trash that progression, say it was all lies, as if concept formation in the young was arbitrary or unimportant? I think critics do it because they have memories of hurt.

    1. Carbon dating is only accurate to almost 10,000 years. Other methods are believed to be accurate for longer.

      3000 years is too short for even the religious texts, which would put the age at more like 7,000 years (Jewish & Christian texts).

      1. Certainly not in the bible I read. The “6 days” of creation are not literal 24-hour periods in the bible. In Genesis 2:4 it talks about “the day” that God created the heavens and earth, right after stating it was created in “6 days”. The word “day” can represent a considerable period of time… like aeons… or billions of years.

        Use of the word “day” in the bible, is often symbolic. Any religion that teaches that the earth is a few thousand years old is just making stuff up… just like they accuse scientists of doing.

    2. It’s not a matter of believing if one particular dating method “true” or not. To determine an artifact’s age with any scientific degree of accurateness, several completely different methods must be used to overcome the limitations and uncertainties of any one method. Methods include geological aging (layers of sediment indicating seasons, years, and climate cycles), tephrochronology (based on volcanic ash), amino acid dating, carbon dating and other radioactive decay measurements, astrochronology, and many other dating methods.

      Every method of dating has its own strengths and limitations because of the nature of how each one works. Carbon dating is focused on frequently because all lifeforms use carbon atoms in similar ways and its pattern of radioactive decay makes it very useful for aging fossils up to thousands of years old. Still, there’s no reason to rely on carbon dating alone as a matter of faith. A carbon date really only impresses a scientist as far as it matches or challenges differently arrived estimates of an artifact’s age.

  4. Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

    “DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
    “Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
    “Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
    “Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


    VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

    Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

    Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

    You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

    No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

  5. Music by: Fred Spielman
    Lyrics by: Janice Torre
    Date: 1956
    Featured in: The Stingiest Man in Town

    There is a spirit in the world of generosity,
    That bring good things to all of us whoever we may be.
    So, I believe in Santa Claus for it can’t be denied
    That he is generosity personified.

    Yes, there is a Santa Claus for children everywhere,
    Though you may watch the chimney tops and never see him there.
    People say his magic sleigh flies in the sky above,
    But you might find it anywhere you find unselfish love.

    Oh yes, he really does exist, and Santa Claus will live,
    As long as hearts can realize how good it feels to give.
    So when you are feeling blue, keep up your hope because,
    If there is kindness in the world, there is a Santa Claus.

  6. “Yes, say, what is truth? ’Tis the brightest prize
    To which mortals or Gods can aspire.
    Go search in the depths where it glittering lies,
    Or ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies:
    ’Tis an aim for the noblest desire.”

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