This year, for some reason, I have been noticing how much we lie to our children. Lies…all in the name of fostering the joy of Christmas but lies all the same. In the end, I do think it is harmless but like all lies…its extremely complicated to maintain. Further, I realize that as my children get older and are better able to reason, I continue to complicate the lie in order to keep it going.
So for Christmas, Santa has to deliver the Christmas tree. That means that at some point, a moment has to be created where both of the boys are out of the house for enough time for me to run out and purchase a Christmas tree. Sometimes I do it while they are at school and it greets them when they get home, last year, I think they went to play in the park and just as they were returning, I was just able to get my coat off in time to tell them how Santa said he was so sorry to have missed them. I complicated the lie by asking…didn’t you just hear the bells jingling as you were walking up the block. Oh man…go look and see if you can catch him at the stop sign! Its amazing, but like magic each year, they somehow manage to just miss Santa’s delivery. They are always a little disappointed but happy that the tree has finally arrived.
Then we have to decorate and light the tree. Why? Well that’s because Santa has to be able to find you to bring presents. Technically though, if Santa delivered the tree…doesn’t he already know where we are. Why do we need to light the tree so that he can find us? Luckily they haven’t gotten to that place yet. They simply enjoy the process of being able to decorate the tree…but I suspect that question will come soon.
When their toy collection gets overwhelming, Santa will generally ask them to consider which of their toys they can donate to children less fortunate. The struggle is then they want to give away everything in hopes that Santa will bring them all new stuff. Things they’ve played with and enjoy..they suddenly no longer want. But why I ask? “Santa’s gonna bring us new stuff” is generally the thought. And so trying to teach them to be charitable during the holiday hasn’t really turned out the way I hoped. Now they give stuff away just because they want all new stuff!
When Christmas is all done, Santa has to come pick up the tree. Sure I could just throw the tree out but Santa brought it to us…we can’t just throw it away. So no..we aren’t throwing it out. We are returning it. But why do we have to return it? He gave it to us! Well Santa is actually coming to pick up the tree so that he can have it re-planted in the forest. It’s important to Santa that we recycle things and that we don’t waste…and so in order to be environmental, they let the tree go each year.