When my babies first arrived, I swore I would never hoodwink them with mass cultural delusions that have little justification for their role beyond perpetuating consumerist values.  No Easter Bunny.  No tooth fairy.  And no damn Santa Claus.  I would not betray my children with lies.

Somehow, even through my refusal to perpetuate the fantasy, my children still believed.  Santa magic seeped in from every conduit and I could no more stop the delusion from entering my children's awareness than I could hermetically seal them away in a glass bubble from the rest of the world.  Thus, when my three year old daughter looked up at me hopefully and asked, 'There a Santa Claus, right mommy?' I could only reply, 'I have never seen him myself, but many people say he is real.'

That's not quite a lie but not entirely in line with my original intentions.

See, the bigger crime, I think, is to pretend that I have all the answers.  That anything that lies beyond my own experience does not exist and put a stranglehold on my children's imaginations.  To deny possibility.  No.

Now I walk a line somewhere between what I think is true and allow for alternate explanations without feeling threatened.  We explore the broader implications of any phenomena.  It could be dust floating in the air, dust that is mainly composed of sloughed off human skin, or it could be fairies.  Fairies are pretty cool, but maybe, just think, that the earth is made from the dust of you and me and all of those who have been before us.  And we are made of stars.


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  1. We had the same thoughts when our kiddo was born. We always told her that some people believe in Santa, but that we didn't. When she was 4, she decided she wanted to believe in Santa, even though she knew he wasn't real. We were o.k. with that. It was her choice after all, not us forcing our opinion of what she should believe down her throat.

    Our stance has always been to tell her the truth to any questions she might ask, even if that truth is simplified for her age. Makes life easier that way I think.

  2. That seems sensible to me without being restrictive.