Dear Lily – Should I tell my daughter Santa’s not real?
My daughter is starting to ask the inevitable questions: Where do babies come from? What happens when people die? Why does mummy have so many ‘special friends’ to stay over? etc. Obviously, as it’s nearly Christmas, she’s now starting to ask about Santa Claus and if he’s real or not. Do you think I should get it over with and tell her the truth before she turns 30?
Lily says – Let’s examine the facts.
From birth, children are convinced, via a complicated and elaborate parental charade, that there is a benevolent person called Santa Claus who comes down the chimney at Christmas, delivering presents to all the good little boys and girls around the world in his reindeer-drawn flying sleigh. Despite the fact that our mummies and daddies suspect anyone and everyone of being a predatory paedophile for 11 months of the year, come December, children everywhere are forced to sit on the knee of sinister bearded strangers in disguise, who smell vaguely of cigarettes and whisky, and who insist you call them Father Christmas whilst rubbing the small of your back. Call me a big spoil sport, but I’m getting mixed messages. And then suddenly, one day, your mummy and daddy take you to one side and inform you that they have been lying and that Santa doesn’t really exist after all. You’d think that shaking the foundations of your entire belief system would be enough, but your parents continue to insist that although they lied about Santa, they weren’t joking about Jesus, and he really can walk on water and eat 500 fishes at once without spewing and turn water into alcoholic beverages with his mind. And they expect us to believe whatever else comes out of their putrid, lying mouths? I would make a comparison with Pinocchio here… but apparently he’s also a cynical, manipulative invention. So Geraldine, whatever you decide to tell your daughter about Santa, just make sure you get your story straight beforehand.
Hope that helps!