Why you should lie to your kids about Santa Clause
When it comes to educating my children about the world, I like to think that I don’t hold back the truth. They know how babies are made, they know that there are different belief systems in the world and they know more curse words than an Alaskan crab fisherman. If they ask me a question then I either answer it to the best of my ability or I help them to find the answer for themselves. This is kind of my entire approach to parenting. I do however, have one exception. I maintain the myth that Santa Clause is real.
I don’t go out of my way mind you, it’s not as if I’m hiring an actor with trained reindeer to make an appearance at my house every Christmas Eve but I do nothing to dissuade the belief either. My thought on the matter is this; the truth about Santa Clause is written between the lines of his story. And I’m not just talking about manipulating our children’s behavior with either the promise of presents or the threat of coal, (although that’s pretty great too) but rather I am speaking to the power of believing in something magical. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m a grown man who wants to believe in magic. And I challenge you to prove me wrong.
Just yesterday I watched the Dolphins go 69 yards with seven seconds left on one of those goofy lateral plays that never work to beat the Patriots. That’s magic. That’s the kind of magic that can only happen when people believe in something that no reasonable person should and that’s what Santa Clause is all about. Let’s give our kids the opportunity to believe that people can come together and give more than take, love more than hate and feel more like something that Bing Crosby would sing about. Let’s give our kids the seed of hope that the future is just one Christmas miracle away from being truly wonderful.
The story of Santa Clause is not simply one of a fat man in a red suit traveling to every house in the world and giving presents to children. The story of Santa Clause is Tim Allen realizing through the power of a magical Santa suit that family is more important than his job. The story of Santa Clause is one of acceptance for people no matter their differences, be it a shiny red nose or the fact that they want to be a dentist. It’s the Grinch finding the strength of ten Grinch’s plus two and Charlie Brown and the gang gathering around a little tree that just needs a little love.
Some things just can’t be taught and some questions just can’t be answered. So when my kids ask me whether or not there is a Santa Clause, I may not tell them yes… But I definitely won’t tell them no. We will instead decorate the tree or brave the cold to hang our lights. We will play our favorite Christmas songs and write letters to Santa asking him for both toys and the changes we would like to see in our world. We will brew some hot cocoa and curl up on the couch to watch our favorite Christmas movie. When my kids ask me whether or not there is a Santa Clause, I will do my due diligence as a father to help them find the answer for themselves. And I hope the answer is yes.