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Humor / Motherhood

The Problem with Perpetuating the Myth

The Problem with Perpetuating the Myth

In the morning, in the bathroom, while I am doing Mini Me’s hair is when we have our deepest conversations. Here is our conversation last Sunday before church:

Mini Me: I can’t wait for Christmas so I can get more TOYS, TOYS, TOYS!

Me: That’s great. (Brushing absent-mindedly)

Mini Me: Is Santa Claus real?

Me: He is as real as you want him to be. (Ambiguously sly)

Mini Me: How real? (Puzzled)

Me: As real as the Great Pumpkin.

Mini Me: What does he do?

Me: He waits for good little boys and girls in the pumpkin patch on Halloween. (Bluffing, because I can’t remember how the cartoon goes.)

Mini Me: And gives them pumpkins? €œBoy #2 (her brother) got a really big pumpkin!

Me: He must have been a really good boy.

Mini Me: Is Santa Claus as real as God?

Me: Not that real. (Cornered)

I have often wondered if perpetuating the myth of Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Uncle Sam is going to have an effect on my kids. My faith in God and trust in my parents has remained unscathed although we celebrated holidays both culturally and religiously in our home. Despite that, I think it’s more important than ever for children these days to know that their parents will give them the straight skinny when they ask for it.

Me on the phone: Hello? Mom? Is Uncle Sam real?

My Mom: What?!

How do you feel about perpetuating the myth?

-Annie Payne

Mile High Mamas
Author: Mile High Mamas

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  1. This one is really tough for me. I think if it were JUST me that was influencing my kids, I would’ve skipped out on the myths. But they go to schools and day cares and have aunts and uncles and neighbors and a COMMUNITY going, “What did SANTA bring you this year!?” So I’ve gone along for the ride. But, like you, I WILL tell the truth when cornered. I’ve already confessed the truth to my ten-year-old. She took it okay since she’d already figured it out on her own. I can only hope it goes so well with the others!

  2. Ally McBeal had an episode on the myth of Santa Claus once. It was very thought-provoking, in that one side alleged that perpetuating the myth was akin to child abuse.

    We will use evasion and distraction until our kids can get around that. If pushed, I would then ask them a question back, like “what do YOU think?”

    And if further probed, I will answer truthfully.

    Great question.

  3. I don’t know why, but always from the beginning I answered truthfully about it. Even if they were 3 and asked “Is Santa Claus real?” I would tell them no, that it’s just something people pretend is real. Their presents are from us, or relatives on Christmas. They know that the guy at the mall is dressing up like Santa so people can take pictures with him for his job, or “his Daddy work”. Now that they are older my 6 year old asked me why I told them Santa’s not real right away, and other families wait to tell their kids. I guess it was the first time I ever thought about it. I’m just a logical person, so I answer questions logically. We play pretend all the time and I guess I figured they know the difference.

    When I really think about it, and what I answered him was that when I was little my parents lied to me a lot, about a lot of things. My Dad lied to cover his tracks, my mom lied to cover his tracks, and I never trusted them. So what I told my son is that I want him to know that I will always be honest with him about everything. That stems of course from how I grew up (actually my parents still aren’t always truthful with me I suspect) and I don’t expect other people to have such stong motivations behind it.

    DO I think it’s wrong though to tell you kids Santa is real, or the Easter bunny? No. I think every family is different, and that’s just how we decided to do it. I did grow up celebrating them, my husband didn’t, and that’s just what we decided to do. I think like you said, if when you are really put on the spot, you are honest, that matters the most. That’s when you know the answer really counts. 🙂

    Also I have tried to make sure they are not the kid that spoils it for other kids though!!!!! I have them practice coversations with me around Christmas time….”Let’s say a kid asks you if Santa is real, what do you say?” kid: “You need to ask your mom or dad about that.” okay! I tried to tell them the kid will only be mad at THEM if their the one that wrecks it for them. 🙂

  4. I am all for prepetuating this. No problem with that. Kids should be able to believe in things that are good and nice and safe….

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