Allow me to make an unpopular statement and become the most unpopular person you know (as if I’m not used to that already anyway): I hate the tradition of Santa Clause. I hate the idea of lying to kids about some old fat guy who lives in an unlivable region of the world with a bunch of elves who work all year ’round to make little brats around the world toys. I hate the idea that this creepy old dude spies on my kids all year long and checks off a list if they’re naughty or nice. I have a 14 year old, and I never told her Santa was real. She tells me I stole her childhood from her (really, of all the ways I screwed up this is the example she uses of how I ruined her childhood?) but this is hindsight. What if I lied to her for years and then one day said, “Ooops sorry sweetheart I’ve been lying to you all these years. I buy those gifts and wrap them.”
I wanted the credit all along!! It’s really ME buying all those thoughtful gifts!
Let me make my case with an example of how lying backfires:
Last year my step son ran in the house after school, past me and straight into his room crying. Uh oh, I thought, what now? My husband walks in looking absolutely defeated and says, “He started asking too many questions about Santa and so I finally told him Santa wasn’t real.”
He didn’t know Santa wasn’t real!??! I exclaimed.
That is surprising given how vocal I am about how fake the dude is.
All season long I get the joy of having to mind my Ps and Qs on this topic and not spoil it for all the boys and girls, and their parents who feel the need to use this as a disciplining tool. Look, if you have to lie to your kids about a big fat guy in a red suit watching them all year long (and what does this teach kids about privacy?!) then you got worse problems than I can address here.
Don’t get me started on how I am a bad mom for not letting my children believe in “magic” and the “spirit of Christmas” because let’s face it- I am a yogi (I guess) and I believe in energy, astrology, the healing power of sage smudging and meditating. Like right now, I blame my being in a bad mood on Mars and the Moon being in Scorpio. I am aware of my own insanity and I actually relish in it. So don’t tell me I don’t believe in magic.
And also, in case we all forgot, Christmas…CHRIST mas, is about Jesus. And if we want to focus our energy on teaching them magic, let’s teach them about the miracle of immaculate conception.
***Disclaimer*** I do not consider myself a Christian and I am not against the faith. I love faithful people and I love faiths when they spread the word of peace and love. And on that note…
This season to me is about family, reflecting on the past year and creating and acting on hopes for the coming new year. I love putting up a Christmas tree and decorating it. I love buying gifts and wrapping them and watching my family unwrap them (but I don’t love giving credit where it isn’t due). I love the baking, the Christmas lights everyone else takes the time to put up on their house that I’m too lazy to do on mine. I run a daycare and I love doing Christmas arts and crafts. I love the movies and the stories and to me that’s the magic of it.
I had to have the conversation last night with my husband about the whole Santa thing. My 10 year old step son, you know, the one who was traumatized last year learning that Santa didn’t actually exist, wants to lie to our daughter (who is barely 2) about Santa. They got that creepy Elf on the Shelf (another stupid tradition in my book…if you do it, no judgement, but I’ve avoided it all these years till now). We have to figure out a way to not lie to our kid about this, and yet not have her ruin it for everyone else.
We came to the agreement to tell her it’s a Christmas story and not to ruin it for the other kids. I would even go a step further and say that it’s “our little secret” so she feels somewhat special even though that clearly didn’t work on my oldest.
I already know I’m going to get the Mother of the Year club after me telling me they can’t believe I would do this, that I’m ruining Christmas for my kid, why am I doing this, and that I’m no fun. I don’t care. She’s my kid. I don’t want to lie to her. You do what you want with your kid. I’m not passing judgement to you (at least not to your face) so please have the decency to offer me the same courtesy.
I keep reading how all these moms have these 5, 6, 7 and 8 year old kids who keep asking questions about Santa and testing, like they’re figuring it out and the moms are like, “how do we prolong this lie?!” And I would say (and get screamed at for it) don’t. Let it go. But you figure out how to tell them you’ve been lying but please, why delay the inevitable?
So, I hate lying to my kids about Santa and I refuse. I just do. If you’re with me let’s start a club because I’m starting to feel a little lonely over here. And you may not want to bring your kids around me cuz um, loose lips sink ships. I try my best but sometimes my honesty just slips. Super sorry about that.
With that being said, Merry Christmas!! I don’t even say Happy Holidays, I say Merry Christmas because just ’cause I hate the tradition of lying doesn’t mean I don’t love the holiday for everything else it stands for. See? I’m not such a terrible human being.