Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Santa Lie

Remember when you were young and Santa was real? Oh my, those were magical times weren’t they? When we were kids and we were told that a magical man dressed in red would deliver us gifts from the North Pole? We waited anxiously the night before, barely able to get to sleep, and sometimes you would be in bed thinking, “maybe I can catch him.” But alas you never could, unless of course you got out of bed only to find your presents being left under the tree by your parents. What awful timing.

I was in the third grade when I found out that Santa wasn’t real, despite having been told that he wasn’t real in the second grade from a cynical bully. I stilled believed that Santa was real for a whole other year before making the realization that he wasn’t. I don’t remember how I came to the realization; it just sort of popped into my mind from what I remember. I was in my fathers car and he was taking me to school when I just said, “Santa isn’t real, is he?” My father said, “No, he is not.” I then replied, “Neither is the tooth fairy, or the Easter bunny?” My father came clean on them too.

It wasn’t until I became older that I became cynical of the idea of Santa. When I was younger I thought everyone knew he wasn’t real because I did and I told my friend who at the time stilled believed. My reaction to finding out that he still believed was very minimal. I just felt like, “Oh well he is fake, can’t be mad at me for telling him the truth.” Since then I have changed my tone a bit as I wouldn’t want to make a child not believe if they do believe. I just felt like I wouldn’t tell my kids a lie that a man dressed in red with magic powers come down our chimney once a year to leave gifts behind and eat your baked goods and drink your dairy products.

But I guess I had it all wrong really. After talking to a lot of people about I started to think what my childhood would be like if I never believed in Santa. I guess we tell the Santa lie to our children because we want their first years to be magical. The world can be a very scary, tough place, so why have it start out like that? Magic doesn’t exist and the happy ending never really comes true but would you really want to have your child experience something like that before they are emotionally capable of handling such ugly facts? Shouldn’t the beginning of their lives be full of magic and mystery? Sure once they find out the truth it will be a sad day, but for who? For the child growing up to realize the truths of the world or for the parents who are realizing that their kids are starting to understand that life isn’t always a happy place.

 I’m guessing it may be harder for parents then children. For humans there are certain things we realize when we are growing up and the truth isn’t as hard for kids to accept as you would think. I think it’s harder on the adults because they realize that their child is started to connect the dots to discover that magic doesn’t exist and they are growing up and not the little cute kid they used to be who got excited at the thought of Santa coming to bring them presents.

So in closing I think I would tell my kids about Santa when I have them. I think they deserve some magic in their lives even if the magic isn’t real. As long as they think it is real then it is real to them and that’s all that matters. When they discover the truth I don’t think they will take it as hard as I will.

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