A local journalist wrote a piece today saying he and his wife disagree about how their daughter should someday learn that Santa Claus isn’t real. He wants her to come to the conclusion on her own time, while his wife doesn’t see a problem with continuing to read a book that will soon lay it all out.
He closes the article, tongue placed slightly in cheek, saying:
So basically, all I really want is a way to be honest, protect my daughter’s sense of Christmas wonder, instill in her the values of faith, kindness and generosity, achieve peace on earth and stay married. Is that so much to ask?
I say he failed his goal of being “honest” with his children when he first introduced or perpetuated the idea that Santa is real. I’ve said this of lying about Santa to people before, and the response is almost always the same. “It’s not LYING! Santa is tradition”, “Believing in Santa and then learning that he’s not real is part of growing up”, “Wow, you’re sure a GRINCH!”
But seriously, just because it’s tradition to lie to our kids doesn’t make it right. Can Santa be fun? Absolutely. But you can still be HONEST with your kids (what a novel idea) and pretend together as a family. “Oh, we’d better put cookies out for Santa. Funny that his favorite kind is the same as Daddy’s.”
Thankfully, my wife and I agree on this. I’ll quote her IM conversation with me (which was a bit stilted and short due to my younger daughter repeatedly stealing the keyboard from her), emphasis mine:
I don’t like the idea of tricking them. But, I do like playing along, in fun… same with Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. I like going through the motions, the pageantry, the fiction; I want to encour0age pretending, and enjoying worlds of make-believe, and knowing what’s true.
So don’t even THINK about saying we’re no fun or that we’re ruining out children’s childhood. We have other ways of doing that! 😉