I am forty-four years of age and my dad has still not admitted to me that there is no Santa Claus. It has been a bit of an ongoing thing with us for the last thirty-five years or so, when I first started to question the existence of the jolly old elf. I would needle him trying to get him to admit that he and my mom were actually behind it all. My dad would get a twinkle in his eye and an amused smile across his face and insist that “Yes, Candace, there is a Santa Claus.”
In all that time, I have never once thought of my father as a liar. My faith and trust in him was never betrayed because he spun a story about Santa Claus for me. Yet, more and more, I see story after story about how people refuse to lie to their kids about the existence of Santa and how parents that do so are betraying their kid’s trust.
To this I say, “Oh puhleeze.”
If you don’t want to tell your kids about Santa then all the power to you, I 100% support your decision to do so. Just stop trying to make me feel bad about my decision to keep the notion of Santa alive and well, ok? I think it’s awesome that you want to be totally honest with your kids. Seriously, good on you. I for one, am more than happy to keep the lie going for my kids and hopefully, their kids.
Do I revel in the fact that on Christmas Eve my kids bolt for bed at 8 leaving my husband and I time to snuggle by the tree? Darn tooting. Have I reminded my kids that Santa’s watching as soon as November 1st hits? Absolutely. Does the threat of calling the North Pole stop sibling fighting on a dime? Yes indeedy it does. I manage to sleep just fine at night as I spin my web of Santa lies.
I don’t feel bad either that my kids light up when our very lazyass Elf on the Shelf, Mervin, leaves brand new Christmas pajamas before returning to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. I delight in watching those extraordinary liars at NORAD stoke the excitement in my kids when they start tracking Santa around the globe. I love that we can’t go to bed Christmas Eve until we leave out cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. I giggle listening to the excited whispers coming from their rooms as my husband shakes the jingle bells out on the front lawn.
I’m really not sure what side of the Santa fence I’ve enjoyed more; being a parent weaving the Santa myth for my children or being a child delighting in the wonder of it all. Either way, Santa Claus has brought sheer joy to me my whole life and so, no, I don’t feel even a little bit bad about sharing the myth with my children. In fact, I’m willing to lay money that if my kids ever need psychological counseling it won’t be because I created trust issues when I lied to them about Santa.
This year my oldest daughter has begun to lay the groundwork for what I’m sure will be a long-standing discussion in our house. “Mom, is there really a Santa Claus?” At eleven, she’s old enough to know that there probably isn’t but is young enough to be worried that by denying his existence she might get socks and underwear under the tree. “Yes, Morgan, there really is a Santa Claus”, I reply with a smile. Oddly enough, my conscience is clean.