It’s The Great Pumpkin New Albany

Kami Geron, Creative Editor

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“Well, let’s face it…Santa Claus has had more publicity.”-Linus Van Pelt

Traditions are as important as the holiday themselves. As Halloween is upon us there’s one classic movie that will forever be a part of my family’s tradition, Charles Schultz’s It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. In the cartoon, Linus Van Pelt is convinced that Halloween has an associated character, the Great Pumpkin. While Easter has the Easter Bunny and Christmas has Santa Claus, why can’t Halloween have the Great Pumpkin?


Click here to see a clip from It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

The main argument is, unsurprisingly, that telling kids about a magical figure who delivers presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve is a lie,” Vanessa LoBue, Ph.D. from said.This lie may be backed by good intentions, but it is a lie nonetheless, one that will inevitably unravel at some point during a child’s development. Figuring out the truth can be traumatic for a child, this argument goes, and will project the message that children can’t trust what their parents tell them. Further, lying in order to encourage good behavior is manipulative and encourages children to be behave for the wrong reasons.”

As far as Christmas goes, it started out as a religious celebration for Christian faith. Through economical advancements, American Christmas is now more commercialized than religious. It is more common for households who aren’t even Christian to celebrate Christmas because it has become about being a good person, trading gifts, family and of course, Santa.

“Yet research on the topic suggests that children tend to figure out the truth about Santa on their own around the age of seven—in most cases, there is no big reveal in which parents shamefully confess the truth to their sobbing and disappointed kids—and their reactions are generally positive,” LoBue said.

I figured out that magical Santa wasn’t real in middle school when “the cool kids” told me. I wasn’t heart broken; I was a curious kid and had already picked up on some hints about the reality of it all. And I was a smart kid, I wasn’t going to ask my parents which might in turn lose my present chances.

“Fantasy in general is a normal and healthy part of child development,”  LoBue said. “Children spend a large amount of time pretending, especially between the ages of five and eight. They are also constantly exposed to media in which animals can talk, people can fly, and objects magically appear out of thin air. Why should a group of flying reindeer be any more fantastical than a talking mouse or a singing snowman? Although magical thinking decreases between the ages of seven and nine (around the same age at which most children give up the Santa Claus myth), it doesn’t disappear forever: Sometimes we adults need a little magic in our lives, too, as we bear out our superstitions, relish in the excitement of “haunted” houses.”

It’s true that everyone needs a little magic in their lives. Halloween is actually a very big holiday for adults, it’s the one day a year you can be anyone; your favorite cartoon character, an alter ego, or a movie star. Life’s hard and we need the little things, Charlie Brown would know. So let’s start celebrating the Great Pumpkin. After all, what’s so wrong with believing in the impossible?

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