SantaWe have an Elf on the Shelf, one of the slightly effeminate original doll-like versions, rather than the plush version I see everywhere these days. My kids are devoted to "Relf," and run around every December morning like maniacs to see where he's relocated to. While remembering to move Relf each night is pretty much a giant pain in my ass, the awesome thing is that my kids completely and totally buy the Shelf Elf Lore -- that every night he flies home to the North Pole in order to report their behavior to Santa.

Relf is a hell of a bargaining chip, is what I'm saying, as is Santa himself, obviously. My kids have never really questioned Relf's abilities, but the standard explanation in our household is "he's magic." Which, okay, isn't all that creative.

In the spirit of deliberately deceiving your children, here are some of the funniest lies I've heard of parents telling their suspicious kids about Santa and his helpers during the holidays:

Santa is in cahoots with the NSA. How does he track every single kid in order to properly categorize them on the Naughty or Nice list? Through a little help from the National Security Agency, of course. You think that thing up there is a traffic camera? That's cute, honey.

Santa has many clones. Yes, it's a little hard to understand how Santa can visit every single child's house on Christmas Eve, unless you read up on the scientific creation of genetically identical individuals. This also covers Mall Santas, by the way.

Santa uses nanotechnology. Magical reindeer dust ... or a cloud of highly sophisticated microscopic robots that can build toys on the fly?

Santa has supply chain challenges, just like any other manufacturer. This is the first year my 7-year-old asked why it even mattered what a particular toy (in this case, a $90 Lego set) cost so much. "Can't Santa just make whatever he wants?" That's when you hammer them with a lengthy explanation -- maybe use a PowerPoint chart or two -- about resources, materials, components, lead times, logistics, sourcing, and channel partners, until they back away slowly, their small hands raised. "Uh, never mind, Mom."

Santa has a GPS-enabled sleigh. Just like most modern vehicles, Santa's sleigh has a satellite view and turn-by-turn directions.

Santa's reindeer are an as-yet-unidentified species. Listen, just because you haven't seen a flying reindeer doesn't mean they don't exist. In fact, a recent study estimates that of the almost 8.8 million species of life on Earth, we've only discovered about a quarter of them. Plenty of room for Dasher, Blitzen, Prancer, and ... um ... Jinxen.

Santa is flexible. No chimney? No problem: that whole laying-a-finger-aside-of-his-nose action creates a portal into any house or room he wants entry to, whenever he wants. Now, off to bed, sweetie! Don't forget, he sees you when you're sleeping.

What not-so-completely-true things have you told your kids about Santa?


Image via USACE/Flickr