Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Christmas: honesty versus magic



We've I've decided to perpetuate the Santa myth. For as many years as I can muster, I'll be actively lying to my child and encouraging him to believe in this thing, this person that isn't real.

I was asked today: why? Why would I lie to my child?

We aren't religious and we won't be teaching him about capital G-god, but we're happy for him to partake in the various religious festivals that are celebrated at his childcare. We'll tell him that people have different beliefs about different things and he should respect that (to a point).

But Santa... Santa... well, I'm all about Christmas. It's my most favourite time of the year; it's when we fly home to wherever the family gathers; it's when we give and receive; it's when we share; it's when we help and love and bolster each others' spirits; it's when we collectively make a decision to be good to one another.

That to me is magic.

Do I wish it could be year-round sentiment and peace and kindness? Of course, absolutely and I'll be trying to teach him that too. I hope he'll be a good, kind person 12 months of the year.

But I want him to believe in the magic of people and Santa's my gateway: one person spends all his time making things for other people and delivering it to them, spends all his time focused on the joy and happiness of other people with nothing in return but the occasional biscuit and glass of milk. Wars haven't been fought or people killed in his name; sure there's some rampant consumerism surrounding his jolly visage, but that's up to me to mediate.

When someone finally tells him Santa isn't real (and they will) or he figures it out himself (and he will), then we'll have a more serious conversation about people magic, that millions of people who don't know one another have banded together across nations to create magic for children. That Dear Boy can be a part of that magic for other people, for other children; that he can make dreams and wishes come true.

Did you perpetuate the Santa myth? How about the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy?

3 comments :

  1. To be completely honest I just keep up the Santa charade for my daughter so she doesn't ruin it for other kids haha

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    Replies
    1. The person who asked me said friends of hers had gotten very cross at her when her girls told their kids that Santa doesn't exist... which is a little ironic given they're athiests and their kids tell people that god doesn't exist.

      So complex when what you tell your own kids extends far beyond the family home.

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  2. I am right there with you hun... and all your reasons to keep Santa alive are awesome ones xx

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