Santa May Be a Lie But I'll Be Darned If I'm Going to Tell My Daughter the Truth

Mom Moment 39

Santa A con. A lie. A guarantee your kids will become drug addicts. I think I've heard all the anti-Santa diatribes I can take this holiday season. The grumpy mom in Miracle on 34th Street who refused to let her daughter believe in the big guy with the beard was sweet and cuddly compared to the Santa hate that seems to be oozing out on the Internet this holiday season.

I get it! Not every parent on the block wants their kid believing in Santa Claus! But even as I'm typing this with my home-sick-from-school 7-year-old buzzing around, I'm carefully hiding my laptop screen because I want my child to believe in Santa Claus for as long as she possible can.

In truth, I can't remember what it was like to believe in Santa. I remember only the moment when I learned that there was no magical man visiting houses 'round the world every Christmas Eve. I was lying in the nurse's office of my elementary school with a belly ache and -- nosy even then -- listening to the goings on in the main office next door when I heard our gym teacher (and father of one of my childhood best friends) talking about "playing Santa Claus" for his kids.

I didn't, as the real hardcore haters of Old St. Nick will warn, become a rebel overnight, refusing to take anything my parents said at face value. I've never done drugs, nor did I suffer from some sort of post traumatic stress disorder over the revelation.

I simply grew up a bit, earlier than my parents expected or hoped. Looking at my daughter's face as she settled next to Santa on Saturday afternoon, I understand why they let me believe some fat guy in a red suit brought me the things they worked so hard to buy.

On her face I saw magic, pure and simple. She couldn't explain why this man she doesn't see during the year knew her name, her mother's name, knew that she had a new puppy (all benefits of a hometown Santa who is Facebook friends with your mother), but she doesn't even try. She accepts, on blind faith, that there is someone in this world who loves children so much that he'll go the ends of the earth to make them happy.

For us, Santa is not about torturing our child with a threat so she'll behave (I tried it once, and I will never do it again). Santa is about something so much greater and happier, something good in her life rather than the other way around.

At 7, she's already learned about unhappiness. She's seen great-grandparents die, lost beloved pets. She's dealt with bullies and bitter disappointment. I can't shield her from everything, nor do I want to. She needs to learn about the real world.

And yet, I'd rather she learn about it slowly, in bits and pieces. She's still just a child, a little girl lucky to be growing up in American in 2012, in a time and place where childhood is valued, where having a real childhood is still possible.

My little girl wants to believe in magic, and I can let her! It is one of the glorious gifts I as her mother can bestow on her.

I don't have to put her to work the way generations of parents before me. I don't have to treat her as a malleable doll of sorts, ignoring her feelings as generations of parents before me thought was appropriate.

And one day, long after the magic has ended, I hope she looks back and appreciates the time she had, the time when there was no reason to question that there were still people in this world with hearts so large that they're filled with all the children of the world. I hope that if she decides to have children, they too are given this magical gift.

What about you? Do you buy into Santa in your household?


Image by Jeanne Sager



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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

And she can't believe in magic without you making up stories about a fat guy that gives kids material gifts just because they ask for them? There is plenty of real magic and wonder in the world.

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

The excitement that I used to have every Christmas Eve is more then enough to justify Santa to me. I loved the idea and the magic of it, and still do. I wasn't bitterly disappointed when I found out, at like age ten! But I was like man, getting older sucks. There's barely any magic in my life anymore now that I have so many responsibilities. What I wouldn't give to feel that excitement when I was a kid again. I'm able to have a little piece of it when my children get all excited about Santa and Christmas. If something makes your child happy, and doesn't adversely affect them, then why not let them have it for a few years? 

fave82 fave82

I dont understand anyone who is anti Santa. I can only assume that they had a bitter childhood with absolutely no fun, that they dont remember what its like to be a child at all, or that they are entirely too sensitive (and neurotic). There will always be party poopers in this world, people who wanna rain on the parade, and that's how i see them. I remember how magical it was as a kid. And it wasn't just about getting toys.. It was seeing the cookies i had left out were eaten, trying to stay up late and see if i could hear the reindeer, counting down the days till you knew something amazing was going to happen. And honestly, i dont ever remember finding out that there isn't a Santa, it was just a gradual understanding as i got older.. So clearly i wasn't very scarred. I would never recent or feel betrayed by my parents for being told there's a Santa.. Im grateful for every Christmas they gave me.

jalaz77 jalaz77

We do, my dd knows the Santas in the mall are not real (she questioned that) they are there to help Santa cause he is busy! On the other hand my dd knows holidays including Christmas and any other time of the year, are important because because we spend it with family and are thankful for what we have, love, shelter, each other...I am so happy she knows THAT'S the most important. So Rhonda not EVERYONE is about the material things, sorry that's what you think. That's how you were raised, not everyone else. It's sad to see your comments, 90% of the time it screams, 'my kids won't be kids!!'

Fave82-that's right.

Happy... Happydad73

We taught our childern from day one that Santa, the Easter Bunny, fairies and more were make believe, yet they still insisted on believing in them. We weren't militant in our teaching, but we also chose not to lie. If its ok to actively lie about thi ngs like this, why is it wrong for your children to lie to you. You don't have to blab out every single thing you hold as fact, but if you actively lie don't expect any better out of your children.

KathyTh. KathyTh.

Whoa, jalaz, I think you were too harsh on Rhonda.  There IS plenty of magic and wonder in the world, if you look for it.  You don't have to make it up.

jalaz77 jalaz77

OMG? ^^^ seriously Happydad73? Hope you don't read fairy tale books to your kids cause ITS A LIE!! This 'lie' as you put it is different than my kids lying to me about drinking, drugs, sex...whatever...people are goofy.

jalaz77 jalaz77

KathyTh-you HAVE got to see her posts on here. It's boarder line sad most of the time. Read my post lady, my kids know Christmas is more than material things, my dd and middle boy only asked for 3 things as opposed to kids who make a hefty list. That's what holidays are known for here, and yea Santa, god forbid.

kelti... kelticmom

Yes Rhonda and Kathy and Happydad, let's not ever let our kids use their imaginations, play pretend, make up wonderful traditions, believe in magic, etc - let's expose them to the cold hard truth and reality as soon as possible. Otherwise they will grow up to be materialistic, immature, pathological liars. Smdh. What ever happened to the magic of this season? Idk what's worse, the "War on Christmas" or the sanctimommies who look down on us moms who dare to tell our kids about Santa and the Elf on the Shelf.

nonmember avatar Tara

My question is why are others so threatened by those of us who allow our kids to believe? What difference does it make to you. As far as creating a platform of lying - I guess we can account for the "betrayal" as the catalyst for all those who end up on death row. Get real people- it's innocent, it's fun, it's magic and I for one hope to keep it alive as long as possible.

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