The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .) : a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?
When I was growing up in Portugal in the late 60’s, early 70’s there was no such thing as ‘Father Christmas’ or ‘Santa Claus’. In a Catholic country whose government motto was ‘State, Family, Church‘, most celebrations and holidays were tightly connected to religion.
At Christmas, the focus was on celebrating the birth of Christ with the main characters being Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the three Wise Men. We did get presents, only most kids were told they were brought by Jesus. Thankfully my parents never did tell us that but, to try and keep with the spirit of the season, they told us that Jesus allowed them to earn the money to buy us the Christmas presents. Sweet!
Some of the old traditions remain but today Father Christmas represents Christmas in Portugal as much as anywhere else. In UK, where I live, all these characters (Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny…) are an integral part of a child’s life. Maybe because I never believed in them while growing up myself, just as well I don’t have kids because they would be brought up without these fantasies and would probably be considered odd by their friends and schoolmates!
There are so many fantastic stories that kids learn growing up that can stimulate their imagination. I don’t see the point in lying to children, having them believe that all these fictional characters are real and bringing them something.