Thursday, December 22, 2016

We Are All Liars

Dad had told me for three years that my daughter had to know there is no Santa. Suggested she was playing me.

“How? She’ll still get the goods when she knows.”

“But she doesn’t know that.”

Ah. A father’s wisdom. I was a single mom, often broke, but the kid always got what she wanted from Santa and something from me, too. Maybe Dad was right and she played along to ensure she got what she wanted, but I believed— that she believed— until the Christmas she was nine.

As the holiday approached, she and her friends made lots of Santa jokes, talked about classmates who said there’s no Santa, and sometimes outright called me Santa through their giggles.

I was sitting at the kitchen table one evening when my daughter climbed up on my lap and said, “I know. Just tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“You. Santa.”

“Really? You know?”

Eye roll.

I sighed and told her.

She ran to her room, dived into bed, rolled to the wall and repeatedly banged her head against it, all while sobbing, of course.
She screamed that I was a liar, that she could never trust adults again—You are ALL liars! —and how could your own mother deceive you so?

I quietly explained that Santa is real, he lives in our hearts, it’s a loving tradition, and all that crap, while feeling like the shittiest mother ever.

It seemed to calm her. She caught her breath, stopped bawling, and hugged her stuffed rabbit.

Then she bolted upright, startled, and screamed, “Oh my God, the Easter Bunny!”

Jesus, it was a long night.

And yes, we had to cover that, too.


  1. Ha! Yes, those conversations can go on for a while. Thanks for the needed laugh.

    1. On and on and on! Thanks for coming by!

  2. Oh boy. My sister Sandy told me on Christmas Eve the "truth" about Santa. I don't know if I've ever fully forgiven her.

    1. Ha. Give it a couple more years : )

  3. Great family history right there! Loved it.

  4. Any way you slice the Santa pie, you're doomed. A trusting soul, I was devastated to discover that Santa wasn't real. Heartbroken. Way too old to have been taken in for so long. So I decided that I would not lie to my own little boys. They enjoyed Santa movies and gifts and Christmas fun, but the idea was that "Santa is pretend, like Big Bird." ("Big Bird isn't real, Mom?")


    Tell you what, it would have been easier just to say that Santa is real. I forgot that kids talk. Oh man, would they ruin some other child's Christmas? Fortunately we lived in a remote mountain community at that time, and most of our friends didn't make a big deal out of Santa. But still, yeah.

    1. This parenting stuff aint for sissies! Ha. We do our best. Thanks for coming by, and Merry Christmas!

  5. My husband wants to know how you fared with the Tooth Fairy?

  6. Oh, I do love this story. And I love the dino card and magnet images! And grownups SO DO lie to kids. But disillusionment and loss of innocence were going to happen anyway...and there is still Truth in magic and mystery...and thus you are absolved of parental guilt in this matter.