When I was about five years old, my older brother sat me down one day and told me Santa Claus is a fiction. When I had my first child, I was eager to keep the fantasy alive for her, to make up for what I had lost. However, now, with my second child, I am debating whether or not I should lie to her about Santa.
See, the other day, my kid asked her kindergarten teacher if Santa Claus is real, so it is a matter of days before she’ll ask me. And when she does, I want to be sure of what I am about to tell her. I need to figure out what my answer is.
Now, looking back, I don’t think what my brother told me affected my childhood very negatively. Sure, I was saddened at the moment, but within a couple of days, I had moved past it. If my daughter will ask me, telling her a lie won’t be helpful and might even set her back. I believe this will be even less hurtful than what my brother did to me – shattering this fiction even though I never asked or questioned it.
On the other hand, she is still my little girl. But, it is more than that. I want her to have these memories. I want her to remember our Christmases – the fantasy and holiday spirit. I want her to pass this to her children. I want her to develop her imagination. I don’t want to be the one who destroys it. Despite all that, there is an age limit to that question.
I believe that, at the end of the day, if my daughter will ask me if Santa exists, I will tell her the truth. I won’t, however, provide her with that information voluntarily. I believe that if she is at a point in which she asks this question, she can already tell the difference between reality and imagination, and could digest this news. Wish me luck.