It all started with Santa Claus. . . . or was it the Easter Bunny?  We tell our children not to lie, and then we turn around and promote a lie to our child.  Like the fantasy characters of the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny and most of all Santa Claus.  A parent does this because one’s culture makes a big deal out of these illusions and it does give the parent an excuse to give extra to the child when it is not a birthday.  But to say it is from a made-up character and not the parent is a lie, even if one has to classify it as a “white” lie.

The first time I “caught” my parents in a lie was walking in on the “Easter Bunny” hiding her eggs.  (Yes, it was my mother!)  My first thought after verifying the tooth fairy and Santa Claus were the same person as the Easter Bunny was —-“What else have you been lying to me about?”  I didn’t have much time to dwell on the probing question as my mother was giving me instructions of not informing my younger siblings of this new discovery.  Thus involving me in a lie to others.

This event made such an impression on me, I vowed I would NEVER* perpetrate this lie on my offspring.  Well, things were going along until school classmates started asking what the child got from Santa Claus.  Instead of my child being able to inform these classmates who were at the age I discovered the Easter Bunny, I was pressured by the parents to “promise” my child would not reveal who Santa Claus really was and thus involving my child AND me in a lie to others.

This might have been the end of the story if it wasn’t about lying.  Everyone knows what a “tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive” because now, of course, things get worse.  Being silent was not the solution the parents hoped for, at least, not on our part because the lies had to be covered by other lies.  We had to label some of the Christmas presents as being from Santa Claus.  This had to be done because when the child didn’t receive anything from Santa Claus, the other deceived children accused my child of being a “naughty” child, which they weren’t.  Santa Claus didn’t give the child a present because the parent wasn’t perpetrating the lie of the jolly red-suited man.  Enter logic — via Christmas wrapping paper.  When one practices lying they have to remember too many things and so usually get caught in the lie.  Which this parent did.  The presents from Santa Clause had the same wrapping paper the presents we gave to my family.  Most children tear through the wrapping paper to get to the present and not even notice how it is covered.  Not my child.  So this inquiry was put on the table for discussion — why is Santa’s gift(s) wrapped in the same paper as Uncle ______?  More lies??  Or should the parent just come clean and confess?  Frankly, the parent was tired of promoting all these lies just because some people can’t face the fact that real life is not always wrapped in pretty paper.

*Never say Never!  Because when you do, it always happens. 

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