A social worker has urged parents not to tell their children the iPads and other expensive gifts they unwrap on Christmas Day were delivered by Santa.
A Facebook post shared on a group for social workers from a previous Christmas has resurfaced and gone viral as it warned of the damaging effect lavish gifts from Father Christmas can have on other children.
The post, which has now been shared almost 600,000 times, reads: “I cannot stress this enough. Stop telling your Santa age kids that their iPads, iPhones and 200 dollar toys are from Santa.
“Cause some families can’t afford that. Little kids wonder why they got socks or a coat or hand me down toys from Santa and other kids got an iPad.
“This is the second year I’ve had a parent cry to me telling me their kid asked why they weren’t good enough or Santa didn’t like them as much. Breaks my heart for the parents and kids.
“So take credit for the gift. Santa didn’t buy that iPad, momma did or daddy did. Leave the less expensive gifts from Santa. Be blessed you can afford what others cannot. Merry Christmas.”
The post racked up more than 15,000 comments, as one person replied to say: “Grew up as the oldest of four in a very poor family. I quickly realised Santa wasn’t real because of the drastic differences between our gifts and other children’s gifts.”
A second wrote: “That is so right. We always gave our girls small Santa gifts. What happens if you lose your job or can’t afford the big toy he brought last year. Make it easy for yourself and other children not so fortunate.”
Another commented: “I wanted Christmas to be magical for them. But thinking how it might have been for other children never crossed my mind. I was really insensitive and now feel badly about that.”
But others slammed the message, as one replied: “Good Lord this world is going soft AF! How about you worry about you and yours and I’ll worry about me and mine!?”
Someone else wrote: “Christmas is the same date every year. That gives you a whole year to save the money for something your kid really wants. Start thinking ahead.”