Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Santa Claus Question.

This is the first Christmas I have spent with my daughter since she revealed to me that she no longer believes in Santa Claus. In a way, I am relieved, because I hate lying to her, even about something as innocuous as Santa Claus. Besides, why should some imaginary fat guy with an elf fetish get all the credit?

My daughter asked me why adults felt the need to perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus. I was reminded of what my old friend Dave told my God-daughter when she discovered the truth about the Tooth Fairy. He said that parents made up the Tooth Fairy as a means to ease the pain children feel when they lose a tooth. I wondered if perhaps parents continue the tradition of Santa Claus in order to ease the pain of growing up. As children get older and become more aware of the evils that exist in this world, it's nice to be able to think that a kindly old man rewards good behavior, just because it's a nice thing to do.

Earlier this month, I took kiddo to the store to pick out a toy to donate to a local charity. I told her that it would find its way to a needy child who, without people like her, might not have a Christmas. As we dropped the toy off, I said to her "Now YOU are Santa Claus". And, for a few minutes, she believed again.

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