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The Santa Lie

I have no problem white-lying to my kids.  I sort of think of it as creative parenting for sanity.

Looks like the train at the zoo is broken again…

That’s right, Sonic isn’t open when it rains.

Drink your green smoothie.  Didn’t you ever wonder how Hulk got so big?  Yep, the drink.

Flush the toilet or else all the pee germs will merge together and create a potty snake which will bite your butt.

Fine.  I’ve never used the last one.  But I’m not above it.

All of these creative parenting techniques aren’t helping me these days.  My white lies have hit a big snag.  One of the biggest snag we tell our children.  “Is Santa real?” is asked a lot around our house this year.  And I have no idea how to come clean.

Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are creepy.  I’d rather be really honest about those freaks, but Santa was never a concern.  While I was pregnant, I read lots of blog posts about parents who were honest from the start about Santa.  I respect that.  Really I do, but not believing in Santa was never an option.  I like the thought of Santa.  The joy of Santa was fun for me as a kid.  How did he figure out I wasn’t at home and brought the gifts to my grandparents?  How did he decorate our Christmas tree with doll clothes?  Magic.  As an adult, I don’t feel it made my holidays more commercial or was I less grateful for my gifts because they came from a strange jolly old man.  But as a parent being 100% honest about Santa from the start seemed like way more work for me as a parent.  Shopping is hard enough.  Getting my kids to keep a huge secret seemed like an impossible job.  And as much as I hate to admit it, the threat of Santa has come in handy a few times.  Don’t judge.  I’m guessing a few of you’ve also pulled the Santa’s Watching card.


But recently, Coop’s been asking a lot about Santa’s existence.  And it’s the one time in my Parenting Life when I can’t white lie.  I don’t want to say, “Yes!  He’s real!”  I can’t do it.  I’m skirting the issue so hard my feet hurt.  It’s like all of a sudden my mind is pissed at me for started the Santa myth.  My brain is telling my mind (yes, I believe they’re two different parts of my head), “Go ahead smart guy.  Answer that question.”  I try to answer the questions rationally.  Last year, I explained that sometimes he has to use Target because of the sheer volume of gifts.  White lie #1 because we bought a gift with a Target sticker.  Every year, I say “Santa has a budget and the Lego Death Star is too expensive.”  To which I always get, “But magic doesn’t cost money.”  It’s like he’s mocking my lie.  Cooper’s been saying, “Santa can’t be real.  Magic doesn’t really work like that.  You buy the gifts and wrap them.  Right?  Is he real?”  This morning, he pointed out how in our Santa pictures, the beards are all different lengths.  “Maybe he got a trim through the year,” I answered with a realistic white lie.  “Is he real though, Ma?” he asked again.  I hurried him out the door with no response.  In the end, the big reason I’m clinging to the last threads of my lie: age.  He seems pretty young to give up the idea of Santa, but perhaps six is a senior citizen in the Santa World.  If we can make through one more year, maybe I’ll feel better about spilling my guts.

Any help on how to fess up would be gratefully received by this Ma.