Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Lying to the kids

All the lights and decorations are up in our street. I passed my friends' door, and wondered what they are telling little Mimi this year, now she's big enough to notice Christmas.

Is this when you have to make the decision whether you're going to start lying to your kid, along with everyone else? Or be a bah humbug Scrooge character, and tell them there's no such person as Santa, it's all a con, and risk your child upsetting all the others at nursery? (Because what your parents say is the Truth, and only when you come to mix with other children does their all-wise, all powerful godlike stature get challenged. You should've overheard the conversations I used to hear about this in class.)

Without wishing to sound especially precocious, I never remember believing in Father Christmas.* I remember sleepily seeing my mum slip into my bedroom with the presents. I didn't ever bring it up or challenge them on it, I understood without ever really questioning it that it was a story that grownups told you, a fun, nice one that everyone joined in with. It came as a surprise later that other people took it seriously. Just like the Jesus stories we were told at our C of E primary school.  I didn't realise that other people took them very very seriously.

Anyway, in some ways I'm glad I don't have to make those choices.

* And while we're on the subject of Papá Noel, check out Tim's post on the underrated Raymond Briggs.


  1. I don't remember properly believing in Santa either. I knew there was some sort of skullduggery going on regarding the glass of milk and mince pie, but always felt that I was in on the joke (I'm not sure who we were trying to convince, since I was the youngest).

  2. TB, yes 'in on the joke' kind of sums it up. One of my friends used to go to great lengths to convince her little brother, including shaking homemade 'sleighbells' made from milk bottle tops outside his bedroom on Christmas Eve.

    The more I think about it, the more odd it seems.
    "There's no Father Christmas? There's no Father Christmas!!!"
    "Yeah sorry kid, we lied."