So when my parents confessed the long overdue truth, I was devastated as in uncontrollable boohooing, gut-wrenching sobs. And the triple blow came when they confirmed my suspicions about the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. My world came crashing down in a day. The transition from being a gullible child to an enlightened insider was more jolting than the rush of hormones that came with puberty.
Then came the time for me to carry on that Christian tradition with my own children. Somehow deceiving the most vulnerable in society seems to defy religious teachings. I guess coercing our children into believing in someone so blatantly outlandish and unreal as Santa could be categorized as a white lie, since the motive is entirely for the children’s benefit. Only the endemic white lie and following cover-up lasts years and detracts from the real meaning of Christmas. Some people have said that teaching children about Santa is actually harmful. I don’t think I’d go that far and I’m not even a practicing Christian. I’m one of those non-religious, going-through-the-motions-strictly-for-my-children type of person who can’t wait until Christmas day has come and gone. I would shorten my life by omitting all of the Decembers throughout my lifetime if that was an option. Scrooge? I can’t help it. Besides, I see the light at the end of the red and green tunnel.
There is only one upside I see to the Christmas season and that’s those stupid elves. Yes, plural. There are multiple elves who’ve inhabited our house since Thanksgiving Eve thanks to my daughters’ persistent urging since Christmas was on the horizon sometime around the start of November. Odd how the mere days of the elves' presence already feels like an eternity. Thankfully, though, my daughters have overtaken my role by positioning the elves in precarious spots throughout the house and setting up elaborate pranks after Peter’s asleep. Better them than me. In years past, I began to resent ever buying the first elf when my creative juices ran dry within the first week of “its” arrival.
So now that Santa’s identity is only a secret to one, the pressure is off somewhat and I’m free to sit back and enjoy Peter’s semi-transformed behavior thanks to those watchful elves. And if those elves keep him out of trouble for only a few weeks out of the year, I’ll take what I can get. Maybe December isn’t so bad after all.