Do you remember the day you realized Santa Claus or Old Saint Nick was just one big giant lie your parents told you? I do.
My brother “slipped up” when telling me Santa wasn’t real. And once my mother gave him the death stare, he quickly ran to the window, desperately trying to convince me that Santa was real. He pointed to two big stars in the sky and told me they were the headlights to Santa’s sleigh. I wanted to believe him so badly that actually, I thought I saw them. However, that night in bed, I realized he was right. Santa wasn’t real, and I vowed never to tell my children such a lie!
Now let’s fast-forward to nearly 30 years later and, yes, I am a big fat liar! A huge Christmas-obsessed, tinsel-loving, holiday monster of a mother who tells her kids the same lie! Seriously, this is a real web of lies. First, we start out innocently enough with the bedtime stories. Then, the web grows and grows! The letter to Santa isn’t enough anymore. Now, kids get a personalized video from Santa telling them they have been good and may get x-y-z for Christmas this year because they were extra nice to their brother or sister!
The Question “Is Santa Real” is a REAL dilemma in my many homes
Did You Know? Next to “Where do babies come from,” “Is Santa real” ranks as parents’ #2 most-dreaded question ever.
Society has let this lie get so big you can’t not tell it, or you may ruin some other kid’s holiday! To boot, there is now the Elf on the Shelf, who appears after Halloween and spies for Santa! Have we all lost our minds? Grandparents, uncles and aunts all get in on the lie. Friends who don’t even celebrate Christmas get in on it! Even those who don’t have kids turn into holiday liars.
I only know one person who refused to tell the Santa lies. A dear friend of mine has four kids and told me years ago, “No, I told my kids it is just a story, and other parents lie to their kids, so don’t ruin it for those kids.” At the time, I said she was cruel, robbing her kids of the joy of Christmas and Santa. But now, I think my wacky friend was on to something as I near the end of the big lie for my older son.
And now the BIG question is happening in our home. Is Santa Real Mommy?
Last week he said to me, “Mom, you always tell me the truth, right?” I puffed up my righteous-mom chest and said, “Of course, Hun.” Then, out it came: “Is Santa real?” I started to sweat and suddenly began to panic. What do I do? Do I unravel the lie, or can I squeeze in one more year of deceit? One more year where both of my kids think a complete stranger who only wears red, has a huge white beard, hangs out at the mall all of December, comes into our house while we sleep and leaves presents we don’t pay for? Yes. Yes, that is exactly what I do.
And I put more into this wicked little lie. I say, “do you believe in Santa?” He says, “Yes.” I come back with, “Well, he is magical, and if you believe in your heart that he is real, then yes, he is real.” I mean, come on, what kind of answer is that? Regardless, that weak answer bought me more time.
So here are some tough questions. Should we tell kids these scandalous Santa lies? Or should we just say they are fictional stories from the get-go like my friend did, and stop the painful “reveal” drama? When your child asks why you lied to them, what do you say? Do you allow your older child to lie to the younger one? Is that OK?
Tell me how you deal in the comments below!
Published on: Vitalize Magazine