The ‘imagination’ category

Lying About Santa

November 13th, 2018

Lying about Christmas

My kids are nearly 4, and I anticipate this being our big Christmas — the one where they really get into the whole thing. To make the most of it, I have been laying the Santa propaganda on pretty thick.

I have mixed feelings about the shameless lying that goes into the Santa story, but when I compare the lying to the magic of Christmas, magic wins. However, it’s pretty creepy how overtly and blatantly you have to lie to get three-year-olds to sign up for the whole thing. It’s not just a matter of perpetrating a story they already believe. At this age, you have to proactively feed them the story, deliberately and with zero doubt. You have to be one with the lie.

I have never been a good liar, but I am really throwing myself into this. I have been experimenting with tossing Santa references into casual conversation and downloading old Peanuts videos on YouTube. At this point, it’s resulted in my daughters concocting their own patchwork ideas of Christmas such as:

Eliza this morning: “This is a picture I drew of Santa.”

Me: “Santa Claus? I love it!”

Her: “No, just Santa.”

Me: “Santa and Santa Claus are the same person.”

Her, annoyed: “No! Santa brings presents. Santa Claus makes toys in the North Pole.”

I tried to correct her, but Jon gave me that oh-so-familiar “you really need to relax” look. Later, at dinner, refusing to relent on the propaganda, I gave everyone a turn with the talking rock so we could discuss what we love about Christmas.

Me: I love the cozy feeling of it, the Nutcracker Suite, and the angel pie.

Eliza: I love when Santa brings presents. And when Santa Claus makes toys.

Me: Funny you should bring that up. Can I tell you something interesting?

Her, wide-eyed: What?!

Me: It turns out that Santa and Santa Claus are the same thing!! It’s the same person! Did you know that?

Her, incredulous: WHAT?

Pause, then: Where do they live?

She continues to use the pronoun “they” and make a clear distinction between “lives at North Pole, obsessed with making toys” and “flies through the sky to bring us presents.” I have time; it’s not even Thanksgiving.

Next steps:

  1. Santa Land (Weirdest place ever, totally lost in time, highly recommend)

  2. The Nutcracker ballet (This year is the Pioneer Valley Ballet’s 40th annual production of the Nutcracker. Which means I was an angel in the production during the first few years this thing was around. I cannot wait to bring my daughters and force them to sit through a 2-hour ballet!!)

  3. The Nutcracker movie! (Actually I am going alone to this, because the girls are too young and also, they are Disney-free. But I can’t wait!)

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