Spoiler Alert: If you still believe that a jolly, jiggly elf wearing a red suit and white beard magically deposits presents under millions of Christmas trees all on one night, do not read any further. I mean it. If you read further, despite my warning, and then get angry at me for killing Santa, well then, I may also have to start poking holes in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy too. So, once again, if you are still gullible enough to believe that Santa is real, DO. NOT. READ. THIS. POST.
Santa. He causes me some problems. Big problems. Philosophical problems. He causes me enough angst, that I'd personally like to pull his beard off and whack him up side of the head will his fake belly pillow. I don't think that's the point of Santa, and I afraid I'm missing out on something. Let me explain.
I don't have any memories of actually believing in Santa. Part of this is because I'm the youngest of three kids. It's possible that my sister may have announced to our entire neighborhood, over the CB radio, that Santa was a fake. (Yes, really. I'm that old that I remember the CB radio fad.) While I don't actually remember that, I do remember always being skeptical about the very large man who could fit through a very tiny chimney.
In fact, my poor mother had to answer questions from a 5 year old such as, "How can Santa be at two malls at one time?" and "If Santa brings presents on Christmas eve, why can't we look under that blanket covering that pile of boxes in your room?" Even at five, I thought her "They are Santa's Helpers" and "Santa sent me the money to buy your presents" answers were lame. None of it made any sense. It was clear that I was being lied too.
And that's the root of my Santa problem. It's a lie. I personally don't like lying. At all. In fact, I probably take the no lying thing a little far based on the responses I've gotten from answering "how do I look" questions. I'm working on it. I now realize there are times people don't want or need to hear the truth, and I try to come up with the most polite and least dishonest response I can in those situations. Still, it doesn't make sense to me that people ask me how I'm doing when they don't really care.
Anyway, now that I'm a parent and it's Christmas, I find myself faced with the whole Santa thing. Michael has grown up with the belief in Santa, and I've been OK with it so far. We leave cookies and milk out and pretend that Santa comes on Christmas eve. Last year, Michael did ask me once if Santa was real. I deflected the issue by asking him what he thought. He said he thought Santa was real, so I just sort of let it go.
But I'm not sure I'll be able to lie to him if he asks again. It just seems wrong to me. If I'm trying to raise him to be an honest person, how can I lie to him? But, maybe this is different somehow? Maybe the magic of Santa is so awesome that it's worth the fib? Maybe I'm underestimating how sharp kids are and that they pick up on the whole nudge, nudge, wink, wink aspect of the whole thing? Maybe that's even part of the fun?
So, what do you all think? Is it OK to lie about Santa? Is it actually bad to not lie about Santa? Is my insanely annoying practicality ruining Christmas for Michael? Should I just lighten up and go for it, dusty boot print in the fireplace and all? Is this all a waste of my mental energy because Michael's going to figure it out by the end of the holiday season no matter what I do? Please, provide me with guidance oh wonderful blogsphere!