Get Your Lies Ready for Next Year

Now that we’re past Christmas and you don’t really have to worry about it for another year, let’s take a minute to dispassionately review the pros and cons of telling your kids that there’s a Santa Claus.

I covered a lot of them last year in the post “To Santa or Not to Santa.” Check it out for a lot of good points from both sides (I am nothing if not open to reasonable opposition). But my position remains the same:

There is magic in the world — wonderful things, things beyond our understanding. And Santa provides a comforting, training-wheels way to introduce kids to that concept.

But there are other stories, other ways to teach kids about love and grace and generosity. None of them require kids to believe things that aren’t true. In spite of all the heartfelt defenses of the tradition, I just can’t get away from what is obviously and fundamentally true: dating back to a time when there was no mass media and opportunities for entertainment were few, the story of Santa Claus provides people with the opportunity to deceive children for their own amusement.

I’m not a hard-line anti-Santa guy yet. Like I said, I will go along with my wife because she loves it so. But I want to lay down a marker here for when the truth comes out: Graham and Campbell, daddy never wanted to lie to you.


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