The Bell Still Rings For Me, As It Does For All Who Truly Believe

As a parent of young children, I am interested in stories about when children stopped believing in Santa Claus and how they reacted to the news. I am particularly intrigued by the “cost-benefit analysis kids” who conclude that believing (or at least acting to your parents as if you believe) is free but has utility because of the extra “Santa gifts” (presuming that these benefits are not actually paid for by an unreported decrease in the parental gifts you would otherwise get). Kind of cold I suppose, but they probably grow up to become successful economists.

A more romantic outlook is expressed in this sweet song from “The Year Without a Santa Claus”. The comments are worth reading, particularly the one by the daughter of one of the singers.

Our government very definitely believes, they even track the jolly old elf all night. They also have a page telling the funny story of how this all started.

James Joyner and I had an exchange about this regarding the Easter Bunny, and I nicked the above picture from him. He tells his childhood story and describes his parenting strategy here, and it sounds wise to me. Merry Christmas to James and his little ones.

Drinking Alone Does Not Necessarily Mean You Have a Drinking Problem

James Joyner reacts to a list of putative signs of problem drinking that includes a question about drinking alone:

I often drink alone because I’m often alone. Or, at least, don’t have other adults around. I like to drink. I like to be alone. So, quite often, I do them simultaneously.

When my colleagues and I wrote the Treatment of Drinking Problems we did not include drinking alone as a sign of having an alcohol problem. The folklore holds that drinking alone betokens a drinking problem, but we couldn’t find any systematic evidence that alcoholics drink alone any more than do non-alcoholics.

If “alone” means drinking with people around whom you don’t know personally, then every solitary airline passenger who orders a drink (and many do) is “drinking alone”; That doesn’t mean they have a problem. If “drinking alone” means simply drinking away from the physical presence of any other people, then a group of alcoholic regulars at the same bar are not drinking alone; that doesn’t mean they don’t have a problem.

I suspect drinking alone got its reputation because of the sort of experience described by the eminent Professor Thorogood:

Every morning just before breakfast Continue Reading…