Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm a Liar. And Proud of It.

In the past 10 years or so, I’ve seen a lot of blogging about and worrying over the concept of Santa & lying to our kids. I can honestly say that I had never thought of it that way, or heard anyone else talk about in my life before recently. And honestly? I just don’t get it. I mean, if your child grows up and hates you for “lying” to them about Santa – and in the process giving them loads of presents? Your kid is an asshole. And you might just be an asshole to have raised such an asshole.

Don’t get me wrong – to each his own. If you want to do the Santa thing, fine. If you don’t, fine. But the idea that doing it is going to damage your child or make them not trust you because you lied to them is completely bizarre to me. I can’t help but to think this is borrowing problems. I mean – there are plenty of real, honest to goodness problems that we can worry about. This? Just seems like a whole lot of silliness to me.

I have only had one child so far that made the transition from believing to not believing. But based on that one child, I have determined that I most definitely did NOT damage him in any way by allowing him to believe in Santa. When he came to me (older than many are when they stop believing) and asked me for the truth, I’ll admit it - it broke my heart. Previously, I used the “what do YOU think?” answer, but that last time, I knew. I knew that he knew, but was wishing otherwise. I knew it was time. And even though he knew, he was still disappointed. He cried. But not because I had been lying to him for years. Because he felt sad that he was moving on. Sad that some of the magic was being let out of his life. But not for one minute did he even think that I was wrong for “lying” to him (and I asked him about it some time later because of this nonsense).

When I was about five or six years old, I was lying awake one Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep. And I heard my mom on the phone with Aunt Twin. I will always remember what it felt like to hear those words: “Ray is putting together Gina’s Barbie Townhouse.” And at that moment, I knew. I spent the rest of my childhood not believing. And you know what? That was sad.

I never told my parents I heard – I was afraid I’d get in trouble for being awake that late, so for years they thought I believed when I didn’t. The Christmas season was stressful for me. Adults always like to ask kids about Santa – Is he coming? What is he bringing? Have you seen him yet? And every one of those questions made me feel awful. And Christmas mornings? Oh MAN, they were tough. My parents could never understand why I didn’t jump excitedly out of bed like most kids. They would have to wake me up and practically drag me downstairs.

I know that many of these issues come from the pretending, rather than the lack of Santa, but not all. I was disappointed that he wasn't real. And I always felt a little left out of the excitement and anticipation that the other kids felt about Santa. The fact is (for me at least) a Christmas without Santa is a Christmas without magic. And I like my Christmases magical.

And now I want my kids’ Christmases to be magical. So I’m going to go ahead and be a big liar. My kids will thank me for it.

.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

7 comments:

bluzdude said...

Kids are so much smarter now than we were back then. (Or I was, anyway.) Perhaps those that bring the drama about being lied to have realized that they now have a chip to play... some leverage over their parents that they can use to their advantage.

It's simple video-game strategy; I wouldn't put it past the little monkeys.

Logical Libby said...

Yeah, I thought about not doing the Santa thing. When it comes down to it though, I want Meg to believe in magic -- if only for a second.

Monica said...

I let my kids believe as long as they wished too. They will tell you today that there is a Santa Clause (my kids are 22 16 and 14) but it is his spirit that lives today not an actual person.

We encourage our kids to "make believe" and encourage "imagination" when they are young so what is wrong in believing in Santa? I mean really have you not seen the characters on TV these days?

Magic is Wonderful

juliloquy said...

Right on! I couldn't agree with you more. My older child is 6 and this may be our last Santa Christmas for him. But I'm sure we'll be able to enlist his support in keeping the story alive for his little sister (age 3).

Bethtastic said...

Spot On.

chasingalittlelion said...

I distinctly remember the first Christmas I didn't believe. And I wished so badly that I did. I remember telling my mother I wished I still believed in Santa because I wanted to have something to look forward to. My dad was on unemployment and my mom was a SAHM. I never saw them leave the house to go shopping so I was pretty sure Christmas wasn't going to happen. Somehow it did, I imagine the Discover Card played Santa that year, but December was pretty dark and dreary without that magical hope.

As for the kiddo... well... he's smarter than me so... he might not believe for long, but I'm going to play along for as long as he'll let me.

Roxy said...

I considered not lying to my children when my first was very young. I despise liars so I struggled with it a bit. I decided to just do the Santa thing.

Out of 3 children they all thankfully don't believe in Santa anymore. My two oldest were okay with it when they found out. My youngest however cried, refused to talk to me for 24 hours, hated me for awhile. She got over it. Though it sucked for her to upset with me. She wasn't upset with me that she would maybe get less gifts. She was upset that I lied to her, had her believe something that wasn't true. Of all my children she loves xmas. It didn't ruin anything but she took to the whole fantasy Santa idea more than my other kids did and still enjoys it.

I am glad my kids believed in Santa. I love the holidays, time with family, giving, etc.