It’s easy to lie to a 2-year-old. We just say, “Santa is a magical man who flies around the world in one night, sliding down chimneys, leaving toys and eating cookies,” and the poor things actually believe us.
In fact, for the very first time in their lives they rush to bed, because well, everyone knows Santa doesn’t come if they’re awake. He’s not very social I guess.
3 years of age and we can basically get away with the same version of the lie, but 4 comes around and our little ones begin to question. Oh, it’s not that they suspect that their own parents are lying. Why would they? They get spanked for lying and well, hypocrite is an adult word.
Still, they feel the need to clarify a few things and suddenly our lone snowflake bursts into a blizzard of white lies.
Son: How does Santa deliver all those presents in 1 night?
Us: Fast reindeer, helpers and tons of magic.
Son: How can he eat all the cookies without getting full?
Us: Oh, he’s fat, absurdly fat, and much more so in person than in the pictures.
Son: Well, then how does he fit down the chimneys?
Us: He uses magic to shrink himself.
Son: What if there’s a fire in the fireplace?
Us: Naturally, Santa wears a fireproof suit.
Son: What about the children that don’t have fireplaces?
Us: Oh for crying out loud, enough questions! If you don’t hurry to bed Santa won’t come at all!!!!
Yay! Our lie lived to fight another Christmas! But from here on it’s an uphill battle until, between the ages of 7 and 12, they finally call us out! No thanks to us; they figured the truth out on their own.
So, what do we do? Do we apologize? Of course not! We savagely recruit them, because we can’t have the truth breaking out among their younger siblings. For the first time in their entire lives, our kids hear it’s not only okay to lie…sometimes, but they won’t get any Christmas presents if they don’t!!! We can’t have them ruining Christmas! And nothing ruins Christmas like the truth.
Before you write me off as a Grinch for suggesting that there might be a better way, understand that years ago I was perfectly ready to perpetuate the lie in my own home. It is an American tradition, after all.
But then I had to ask, “Does this lie bring glory to God? Will my children still trust me when they discover the truth? Is it hypocritical to lie to my children when I’d spank them for the same behavior? And can’t children enjoy Santa Claus as the myth that he is, without adults trying to convince them that he is a real person? ”
Like all parents, I didn’t want to ruin Christmas by killing the magic. 1 white lie almost seemed like a reasonable price to pay for such joy. Then I remembered that I never believed in Santa growing up. My older brother told me the truth and you know what, Christmas was, and still is, my favorite time of year. The presents, carols, family, music, hot cocoa, cookies, games, tree and lights created plenty of excitement without Santa’s help.
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One Christmas Eve, I remember shuffling over an icy parking lot. The air was frozen and heavy. How fitting it was to push back the big church doors exposing a rush of warmth. Strangers smiled as our family squeezed into a packed pew. I stood shoulder to shoulder with a stranger, but it wasn’t uncomfortable. We lit candles in the dark sanctuary as a choir of women sang, “O Come Emmanuel.” I was still young, but it was powerful, beautiful and moving just the same.
If I could recreate one moment in my life, it would be that one, in that Church, feeling the way I felt then. No one said anything about Santa, it was all about Jesus. That is the “true” Christmas magic I want for my kids!
What are your feelings about Santa?
I didn’t believe in Santa either while growing up and oh boy did the other kids on the elementary school play ground have problems with that! My Mom believed in Santa when she was a little girl and when she found out that it was all a lie she thought that God and Jesus must also be a great big lie that would be exposed as she got older and she didn’t want to face that disappointment again so she gave up believing altogether for a while. She didn’t want us to go through loosing our faith over something made up like “Santa”. We don’t celebrate or believe in Santa here, in my opinion he is basically a false god that parents try to get their children to believe in for “fun” and to use occasionally as a reminder that they better be good or Santa won’t get them any Christmas gifts. I am not pro Santa. I do love everything else about Christmas though!
Exactly! I just can’t see any good coming from this lie. Kids need to know that they can trust their parents. They are shaping their world views off of the information that we give them, so they need to be able to trust that the information is accurate.
Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Kathy LaPan says
I figured out my parents were Santa when I was about four. I guess they weren’t good liars lol
I was always uncomfortable lying to my kids, but my husband and it families said it to them. If they asked me directly, I would tell them Santa was a feeling. Which is not a lie.
They are 13 & 10 now, and they were both ticked when they found out Santa was a lie. My daughter said she was ashamed of her grandparents for lying to her!
What type of parents are you that you will physically hit your child for not telling you the truth? Really? What child resents their parents, or decides not to trust them because they tried to give their child a little bit of childhood magic, in this twisted, messed up, depressing and tormenting world? The irony and hypocrisy is the fact you fear your child wont trust you for telling them a harmless fib, but have no issue physically hitting them… Yes, THAT wont cause trust issues?!
And if you’re REALLY going to get into what is honouring to God – you do realize we are not to celebrate Christmas right? We aren’t instructed to. AT ALL. Infact, Christmas in itself is satanic. Look up the actual history of it. The tree. The gifts. It’s all quite the opposite of what God has instructed us to do. Wait till your precious little babes are old enough to have their own religious convictions and realize you followed the herd and taught them a very non-christian custom.
Chris, I have to respectfully disagree with just about everything you just said. Still, thanks for taking the time to share your opinion. Hope you have a Merry Christmas!
Hi I just wanted to say thank you for being honest. My husband and I wanted to tell our daughter the truth about Christmas. She was just as excited as the other children who believed in Santa. But she knew the real reason for the season. Christmas is a special time of year for us. We love the lights, the songs, everything. But we love to celebrate Jesus.
Since we are talking about TRUTH we need to see what scripture says. Deuteronomy chapter 12 discusses using items for worship of God, that were used in pagan rituals is forbidden by God. God is not saying do not worship these things but DO NOT WOSHIP ME with these things. I’m not going to write it down because you need to read it and see if I am telling you the truth. Most of us know the roots of the tree, mistletoe, etc. have been used for centuries, AND STILL IS, by pagan groups. Just type winter solstice in a search engine. It will sound very familiar. God’s people were not allowed to use these things in Holy set apart worship of the King of the Universe. God does not change..that is scripture too.
Great post!! Parents lie to kids an it’s for childhood magic but when kids lie to parents it’s deceitful.
My parents never did the Santa thing, I told all of my friends (around age 5-7) that Santa wasn’t real (they all got mad) and a year later they ALL came back to me and said they figured it out and weren’t mad at me anymore. 🙂 Great post!!
My Mom never lied to us about Santa – but she also didn’t interfere with us believing what we saw in the culture around us – until we had questions. Then she had (honest) answers.
We told our little one from the start that Santa was make-believe – just like Elmo, Snoopy, and Sid the Science Kid. She can pretend about them all, but doesn’t need to think they’re real. In fact, before she could talk well, I showed her a video of a man dressing as Santa so that she’d “get it.”
But, we DO celebrate the very REAL St. Nicholas – we went to Vespers last night for St. Nicholas. And, our little one read in one of her school books about Dutch children getting shoes full of treats from “St. Nicholas” and wanted to be part of that fun. So, last night, we pretended that St. Nicholas filled her stocking – after watching a video about the REAL St. Nicholas giving alms to poverty stricken young women by putting the gifts in their stockings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh74DcbSqfk . She knows that we fill the stocking – but she still enjoys the fun AND remembers the Real St. Nicholas. It’s a win-win : )
Anna@stuffedveggies recently posted…Spectacular Brussels Sprouts
Hi Anna, Yes Saint Nicholas is a real Christian hero! He is actually the subject of this month’s Free Book of the Month (the link’s below)! We’ll be e-mailing it to subscribers on the 10th. Thanks for sharing!
Laura @raisingsoldiers4christ.com says
I was scrolling down Pinterest and this title is awesome! Love the post and I agree! 🙂
Thanks for this post. I have always felt it was a conflict of interest for Christians to distract from the real Reason for the season with Santa – not to mention it’s literally lying to the kids.
JC Morrows says
GREAT BLOG! And BRAVO for standing up for our kids!
I have to admit I went through this with my kids before I realized how wrong it was. Fortunately, God opened their eyes without me having to drag either one into the lie.
GOD Bless you!
And on that note… I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award!
You can read more about this in the post below:
http://homeschoolmommusings.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/wow-a-blog-award-how-exciting (It will be up as soon as I can find 5 more blogs) 😉
God Bless You!
JC Morrows recently posted…The 25 Posts of Christmas!
First, I followed this link from HHM, so A+ on linking to your blog to get more revenue without actually being honest about that.
Secondly, it’s ABSOLUTELY astounding that you believe in a giant floating omnipotent being in the sky, but refuse to let your children believe in Santa Claus … st. Nick WAS real, by the way – you should change your blog to “onlyjesuseducationwhocaresifitsthetruth”