4 JANUARY 1930, Page 23


SIR,—I entirely agree with your correspondent in thinking it unwise to deceive children about Santa Claus—like "Molly," in the example given in his letter, I vividly remember the shock of being told the truth by an elder brother.

Two years ago, I told my little boy, aged four, that Father Christmas was only a "pretend," like fairies, and that I put the things in his stocking. He did not seem to mind at all, and entered into the pretence so well last year, that I wondered if he had forgotten, and mentioned it again, quite casually. This year, for days before Christmas, he talked to his little brother about Father Christmas, the time he would come, and the possibility of his landing on the roof in an aeroplane in order to get down the chimney I wondered again if he could have fdrgotten what I had said. Some carol singers came to the house about 10.30 on Christmas Eve, and I went upstairs, in case the children should wake and be frightened. The elder boy did wake, and after asking about the singers, he whispered, "have you put the things in our stockings yet ? Except for that moment he never stopped pretending I Children have such wonderful imaginations, and it seems to me far better to let Santa Claus be "make believe," than to instil a real belief which must be cruelly shattered in a few years.—

I am, Sir, &c., IRENE F. ARGLES. Witherslack, Grange-over-Sands.