Archive for December 7th, 2007

by Jay Stevens

As many of you may recall, last year I did an in-depth analysis on the perpetuation of the Santa Myth and wondered if I should pass it on to my kids. After all, I reasoned, it is a lie.

You may recall I interviewed pro- and anti-Santa-ists, talked to my pro-Santa mom, interviewed an anthropologist, referred to child psychology, and eventually settled on this solution:

Why push them? Santa believers and non-believers alike seemed to suffer no apparent harm from their interactions with the Santa myth, unless their parents had used their authority to delay the child’s natural questioning of Santa’s existence. Everything I had seen pointed me toward an inescapable conclusion: the whole Santa thing was about the parents, not the kids.

And that’s why we have decided to let [Mr. Proud and Ms. Marvelous] believe. We’ll let them believe in whatever they want, in the way they want, until they seek us out and ask for the truth. And then we’ll tell them.

So. They asked. First, Ms. Marvelous several months ago, and just this week, Mr. Proud. We told them the truth.

Ms. Marvelous handled it without skipping a beat. I even told her we had to keep it secret from Mr. Proud, who still believed. She instantly handled that fact that Santa is a story, and maybe a necessary story for Mr. Proud.

Mr. Proud, on the other hand, has struggled.

Here’s how it went down.

Mr. Proud (to Mom): Is Santa a character?

Mom: Yes.

Ben: Who brings the toys on Christmas Eve?

Mom: Mommy and Daddy.

Then a few days later:

Ben (to Daddy): Do you slip down the chimney?

Daddy: No. We don’t have a chimney.

Ben: Can I see your red suit?

And so on. He hasn’t asked me yet where I keep the reindeer or where I stash Mrs. Claus. I’m half expecting him to wish me a nice journey when he climbs the stairs on Christmas Eve.

I can sincerely say that Mr. Proud’s vision of Santa and Christmas is now completely f*cked up.

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