Calm, Cool and Committed

Three Moms and a Dude

Santa Makes Us Liars

on December 5, 2012

Yes, Cranky Dad, someday your son will find out that you deceived him about Santa and call you a liar (Click here to see a really cranky dad’s post about this dilemma.). At least, that’s what happened to us.

Pop and Nano's Train!

Pop and Nano’s Train!

Our not-so-little guy is 2 and finally old enough to be excited about Christmas! Every Christmas cartoon, sparkly decoration and catchy song enthralls him.  I absolutely love it! At Christmas Candylane this year, his preference was to watch the toy train display, giggling in amazement at every detail. Even though he is old enough to understand that Santa, his elves and the Elf on the Shelf are watching his every move, I haven’t used any of these to control his horrible, no good, very bad, terrible-2 outbursts. Every time I think about using it as leverage, the experience we had with our daughter holds me back.

Sweet and innocent still!

Sweet and innocent still!

When our daughter was little, she was also excited about Christmas! Although presents didn’t really impress her at first, and the Hershey characters, along with any person in a costume…especially Santa, terrified her (She would immediately take off running in the opposite direction when she saw them!), she too was amazed by the magic of Christmas. And, we used the “Santa is watching” strategy every chance we got. Any time she would refuse to brush her teeth or get a bath, we’d pretend that we just saw an Elf pass by the window. Immediately, she would cooperate. It was great!

Unfortunately, this didn’t last very long. When she was a little older, someone I would like to refer to as “The Grinch” told her that Santa wasn’t real. She was devastated and came to us for solace…begging for the truth and hoping that we would reassure her. We tried, but nothing we said convinced her. As a result, she was extremely angry and resentful, and to this day she brings up the fact that we lied to her about Santa. Any time she doubts our honesty, she references Santa to prove that we are liars…and she’s 12 now. Seriously, how long is she going to hold this against us??

She loved this guy!

She loved this guy!

Because of this experience, I guess I am hesitant about how much emphasis to put onto Santa this time around. Is it okay to teach our children about these myths? Can we use the Elf on the Shelf to spy on our kids and convince them that their every move is being watched? Do Santa, his elves, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy make us all liars? What about baby Jesus and his Christmas story? Is he just a myth that we use to force our kids into being good people?

I know what I believe, but these are questions that several of my very close friends seriously ponder as the holidays approach. It’s interesting that these issues may not have even entered our parents’ minds. So, why are we worried about it? What will our children choose to tell their children about the holidays?

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7 responses to “Santa Makes Us Liars

  1. Matt says:

    I would just play your son the song “All Lies” by 3rd Strike.

  2. Tania says:

    You used Santa as leverage for her behavior and now you are letting her use Santa as leverage against you. Tell her to knock it off already. Santa gave her gifts. She is giving you shit…

  3. Naomi Atkins says:

    Lumping baby Jesus in with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny… I’m starting to worry about you!! 🙂

    • Mea says:

      Hey Naomi! I knew this one would get a response out of you! Another teacher lumped him in! I don’t agree, but thought it might start a good debate! Love ya! 😉

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