Argument Over Santa Reveals Differences In Perception of Cost/Income

At this time of year I find myself remembering a time when a friend and I took it upon ourselves to inform one of our other friends about Santa.  I’m not sure why, but kids that no longer believe in Santa seem fanatical about convincing other children who still believe.  We were certainly no exception.

Regardless, whether we were bastards or not, we were attempting to convince this friend of ours.  His core argument in rebuttal was that his parents couldn’t possibly afford the presents he received each year.  Thus, Santa had to be real.

This argument floored me.  He was only a small amount younger than me so I was astounded to the extent that he didn’t understand how much his gifts cost and/or how much money his parents made.  I tried to point out that his presents couldn’t cost in total more than a couple hundred dollars (this was mid-eighties so maybe somewhere between $100 and $300 was certainly possible) and his parents had a lot more money than that.  He was unconvinced.

I’m not sure whether he thought his presents cost more than they did or whether he did not understand how much money his parents had.  Sure, it was a lot to us.  However, we did not have jobs.

Admittedly, his mother was a stay at home and he had two siblings.  Still, his dad was a lawyer (or a CPA, I can’t remember which).  They lived in one of the nicer homes in the neighborhood and moved to a much more upscale neighborhood within a few years.  I knew I didn’t know what kind of debt they had, but I knew that his Christmas presents did not represent that huge a portion of his parent’s net worth as to be out of reach.

Still, our friend remained convinced and I remained amazed that he couldn’t seem to grasp the relationship between the value of his toys and his parent’s assets.  It still floors me a bit, which is pretty ridiculous actually.  I remember the strangest things.

About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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