The Santa Claus Paradox

I wasn't always a practicing Jew. (That happened after I married one.) I grew up with Santa Claus. And the Easter Bunny. And egg hunts and elves and caroling and ginger bread houses and "Twas a Night Before Christmas" read to me before bed. And letters to Santa's elves who visited every year and who I named Trixie and Dixie and sent back with Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. And then cried because I hated to see them go.

I believed in the jolly old elf until I was seven-years-old. And then that bitch Katie Assholenose made me look like a complete idiot in second grade.

"Duh, Rebecca. You idiot. Santa is your mom and dad. Psh. What a dork."

"Psh. I knew that, okay. I've known since kindergarten so there!"

I was embarrassed. And angry. But most of all I was sad because I so wanted to believe. In fact I'm pretty sure I can trace the beginning of the end of my innocence to that winter day in 1988. That was the day I started to doubt. In fairies and elves and make-believe. I banished my imaginary friends soon after and realized that maybe my stuffed animals didn't have feelings. Or voices. Or dreams.

It was heartbreaking, but I digress-- I'm glad there was a Santa, once. I only wish I could have believed a little longer. Christmas wasn't the same after that. Nothing really was.

This is not going to be a worry for us as Archer will not have a Santa Claus. We will celebrate Hanukkah in our home. We will create new traditions. And just so Archer (me) won't be able to miss out on the Christmas tree, we'll be spending Christmas at my parent's house. So he (we) will have the best of both worlds, much like I did growing up celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. Passover and Easter.

And although there will be no Santa or Easter Bunny, there OH-SO-WILL-BE a Tooth Fairy. Because magic is important, even though it ends. Sometimes abruptly. Because believing in something that isn't real is what children do and adults if we are lucky. And yet its a tough one because essentially, it's kind of like lying to our kids and for what? The magic. The magic. Because maybe WE want to believe in something. Maybe, as adults, part of the joy in having children of our own is being able to find it again. That magic. Because it's special.

A while back one of my readers (Hi Mrs. Q!) asked that I opened up a discussion about Santa Claus in the comments of this post

Her comment read as followed:

...My sister-in-law announced years ago that she would not LIE to her children (now 7 and 9) about Santa/Tooth Fairy/Easter Bunny/Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, etc. Her thought is, that if her children can’t depend on her for the truth about these things, what is to say they will trust her on anything else? (She had a very bad experience with Santa and her parents, by the way).

Now that our man is 17 mo., and there are now many other young kids in our extended family, we're all not quite sure how to deal with our niece and nephew who think that we are in fact LYING to our own kids and don't really care if they debunk the myth...

I’m at my wits end arguing my point, which is ultimately, as parents, we do whatever we choose and think is right, but at the same time, respect what others teach their own children. It’s called tolerance. To us, Santa is magic, and like all magic, kids eventually figure out that there's a secret behind it.

Help?


......................................................................................................

A great many of you had opinions and great points on the subject of "hiding the truth" and "where do we draw the line between lies and and make-believe."

Santa is a toughie, a perfect paradoxical symbol of youth and belief and growing up. As a parent, I have pledged to be honest with Archer. To be open with him about the world. To educate him. To hold the flashlight and to help him understand the scary and often confusing aspects of life. Reality. But at the same time, I want him to trust in his imagination. And in storytelling. And the power of belief. Of faith. Even if its ephemeral. A conundrum? I think paradox is a better word because I don't think believing in Santa opposes knowing the truth.

And on behalf of Mrs. Q, I would like to turn to all of you for your insight on the matter. Do you believe in Santa for your kids? Why or why not? Thank you in advance for your perspective.

GGC

Addendum: Do you have a subject you would like discussed? I am happy to host any relevent discussions if you have a question/concern/ are looking for guidance. Please feel free to email me at rebeccawoolf@hotmail.com. Word.

36 comments:

the mad momma | 12:45 AM

I don't think there is any harm in telling kids abt Santa.. there is so much magic around it.. and there is so much excitement in looking forward to xmas that i wouldnt want to deny them that.

if reality is such a big thing we should stop showing them barney and sesame street and talking animals too....

i dont think its a particular shock to your system to learn the truth... there is a bit of disappointment no doubt... but heck.. that is over in the excitement of knowing that gifts will still be given!! And even as an adult i look forward to the warmth and cheer of xmas so i dont think i was particularly scarred by the discovery... !!

Momo | 3:36 AM

Parents should be honest with their kids in "showing" them the reality... they use a torch wich can create light almost everywhere kids must look...but the issue is that parents should take care in not make it burn as brightly as possible...they don't have to reveal everything...there is a proper time for each thing, even for this magic whatever you call it- Santa, Easter Bunny...
Just let the magic be!

toyfoto | 4:21 AM

Why bother with novels, or fantasy, or dreams?
One person's lie is another's art.

I don't think Santa is a LIE, santa is a symbol and a metaphore that is first understood at a basic level of reality.

So much of reality isn't real, either: ie. "This is your brain on drugs." No that's an egg in a frying pan.

We tell kids all the time not to do drugs, and that they're so addictive you could be living in a gutter and selling yourself for a rock overnight. Thing is, it's not true. Sure some people end up badly, but many more get past those angsty years with little harm done. But because we can't really predict who's going to wind up in the gutter we scare the crap out of everybody because we are scared.

I guess my point is that we really know very little about anything and what we think we know tends to become inalienable truth ... and we're wrong anyway. I think that we need more benevolent "lies," lest we become a bunch of mean, unhappy intolerant people.

Wendy | 5:28 AM

I hate this whole lie thing around Santa. There was a story one year about a teacher telling the kids there was no Santa. Just let someone tell my child there is no Santa. You dont want to open that can of whoop ass. I think it is the cruelest thing a person, especially an adult could do to a child. I, also, believe they know it is a mean thing to do, but they do it anyway.

So what if you think Santa is a lie and you dont think I should tell my children. It is my business. I dont hassle you about breastfeeding or spanking, because it is your business. I dont know why this is any different. We all parent our children differently and it should be respected. I think that should be taught to the children of those who believe Santa is a lie, too. I mean I am already teaching my daughter, who is very vocal at the worst time, to respect the differences in others. As parents we teach our children how to live in this world which means respecting other people's beliefs no matter what they are.

We all have different experiences in our lives. I mean I hate frogs and lizards, but should I teach my children to hate them too? Let them make their own decisions. I think this is relevant to parents passing on their fears to their children. Just because your experience was bad doesnt mean it has to be for your kids. As parents we are here as guides, not tyrants. I think I can give my children the magic of the season and then explain it to them when they discover that Santa is not real.

Hell, my daughter is already asking about death and Jesus, do I really have to dive into Santa, too. There is enough time to be an adult, but a very short time to be a child.

me | 6:01 AM

Whenever I hear anyone say that Santa is like lying to your child I think back to when my oldest (who is now almost 17) was 5 or 6.

I woke up on Christmas morning, and who is sleeping under the tree? he is. I woke him up and checked to see that he hadn't opened any gifts, he didn't. Merry Christmas I said. "MOM" he exclaimed, with a look on his face of utter amazement, "It was a DOUBLE night."

I need that memory more than he does sometimes, when he walks out the door to drive himself somewhere. Or I catch him in a typical teen age situation, I have that image of a sleepy little boy on Christmas morning, who had never endured such a long night in his life. Without the magic of Santa, it never would have happened.

and quite frankly there are days I may have killed him without it.

so poo on people who think Santa is like lying to your kids. Kids need magic and wonder as much as they need food and water. I think too many people confuse Santa with commercialism. Santa does not need to bring 100 gifts to be loved.

Design Mom | 6:50 AM

I love the whole Santa thing. My kids are very much into dress-ups and make believe and Santa fits right in.

We try not to make too big a deal about it — we typically don't go to the mall to sit on his lap, and we don't threaten that Santa won't bring presents if they behave badly. But he definitely brings gifts.

I loved believing in Santa as a child and I loved even more being in on the secret as I grew older — even helping my parents put together race tracks and bike for my younger siblings on Christmas eve.

Leigh C. | 7:20 AM

I go back and forth about it. I myself didn't really care if Santa was real or not as a kid, but I didn't want to go around bursting other kids' bubbles like my brother did (yeah, my brother was a Katie A.).

Then again, I have studied the Jewish Bible a great deal, and the whole concept of religion is based around stories of miracles, of talking animals, of parting seas and making water come from stones.
I personally don't believe that all the Bible is is a good story. Heck, celebrating Hanukkah is essentially celebrating impossibilities that actually happened.

Let the kids believe in Santa for a little while. studies say the kids' bubbles burst on Santa after they reach six years of age.

I'm not gonna be the one to tell 'em, even if I am Jewish. Because miracles are for everybody...

foodiemama | 8:19 AM

oh no, don't get me started on people that don't want to "lie" to their children about santa...hello, remember when you were a child and had fantasies, dreams and a freaking beautiful imagination? (i've said that to a few boohoo'ers out there). frankly, i don't get it and it seems like a new hip happening trend to de-imagination your child and i think its f'd.
so yes, we do santa and with major gusto. he's big, he's fat, he's jolly...he not only brings presents but he brings that poop eating grin to my kids face when he sees or hears about him.
if you're jewish or another religion that does not practice x-mas then it makes sense and everyone has there own traditions its those who do practice x-mas and suck the life and mystery right out of it for their kid.
we do not practice or believe in any religion or god or anythiing of that nature but we do celebrate family and seasons at this time...we do it cause its tradition and we love it.
last night we made cookies together and he was beside himself putting chocolate chips on the santas and it made me totally tear up.
that magic has been brought back to my life thanks to him...i feel like i want to believe in santa all over again and damnit maybe i will...and to those kids who bust me kid with a "there is no santa, my parents are joyless"..i will come after you like a ton of bricks.
oh, and hell yes there will be an easter bunny, tooth fairy and any other kind of imaginary kick ass fun made up magical character i can find.
enough from me!

Laura | 8:21 AM

Of course our daughter will have Santa. My parents went out of their way to make my sister and me believe (torn felt on the fireplace grate, ashes tracked on the carpet, etc.) and when we figured it out we never felt lied to.
The magic inherent in childhood is a special gift that I don't think we have the right to take away. Children, while deserving the truth about the world, also deserve to believe in the magic for as long as possible. Why should they have to be little adults? Santa, the tooth fairy, imaginary friends, "talking" stuffed animals... these are the special province of childhood, and should be protected and nurtured. A childhood without them is less of a childhood.

braiding mommy | 8:21 AM

I agree with what everyone else says...

Sometimes the world seems zapped of mystery, magic, excitement, giving, etc. I don't think its bad to try to but some of that back into the world for our kids.

Anonymous | 8:47 AM

I so agree with all of you! Why do some people have to be such assholes and take the fun out of everything?
Santa was awesome growing up. I found out in the third grade(heard the parents wrapping presents)but the cool part was waking up and still having the stuff.
Now as an adult, I could care less about getting presents. It's the excitement of seeing the kids faces when they round the corner and see the tree on Xmas morning. That's what makes my Christmas! And makes me glad that Santa is alive and well at my house; and will be until the kids come home from college and say "give it up Mom, we're 21".--Bama Mom

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 9:26 AM

Great comments! All of these are so right on. Totally agree.

"The magic inherent in childhood is a special gift that I don't think we have the right to take away... Should they have to be little adults? Santa, the tooth fairy, imaginary friends, "talking" stuffed animals... these are the special province of childhood, and should be protected and nurtured. A childhood without them is less of a childhood." WAS SO RIGHT ON!!

And TOYFOTO, once again you have me nodding and saying yes! yes! yes!!!

Thank you all for sharing!

Steph | 9:44 AM

No kids yet, but I'm 27 and believe in Santa. He still comes to see me, my sister, and now my husband on Christmas morning. My mother's comment when I asked (at 11!) was "As long as you believe in the spirit of Santa, he will come."

Aline | 11:08 AM

Uh oh... I may have to diverge from the majority of comments thus far and say that I am not planning on having Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc. in my kids lives (no kids yet).

My parents did do the Santa thing for my brother and I when we were kids. We were also ridiculously poor, and that may make you think that we needed magic that much more. But I had my talking stuffed animals and My Little Ponies (who I was so sure came to life at night that I'd sleep with them under my pillow so I could feel them move!). My mom told me about Santa when I was 5 (and I instantly asked about the rest of them). I'd been doubting it since I could talk (why do the toys say Made in China if they are made at the North Pole?) and maybe she thought I was ready (I cried and she feels awful to this day).

I recently had a discussion with my mom and told her that I won't be doing the Santa thing for my kids. Naturally she thinks it's her fault, but it's not. I just don't like the commercialized Santa business. I agree that magic is important, but paying $12 for a photo with Santa (after waiting in line for 2 hours), is just silly. Spending a frantic Saturday in the mall just to get your kid that Elmo he asked Santa for is very far from magical. Telling your crying six year old that the toothfairy will NOT cut her stomach open to get the tooth she swallowed doesn't really capture the magic either (Yes, this was my cousin). What about the hordes of abandoned rabbits at the shelters when they aren't so cute and Easter-y anymore?

I don't think that your child not believing in Santa makes them grow up any faster. There is plenty of magic that you don't have to pay for and many things that you can celebrate each winter without a fat man in your chimney!

mamalang | 11:29 AM

They told her the tooth fairy wouldn't come because she swallowed the tooth? Okay, we won't even go there. My kids believe in Santa. The older one understands that it's the spirit of Santa we believe in, and that he isn't real. The younger daughter is finding her way through it this year. My son loves the idea of Santa. Santa is commercialized in our house...we see him at events, we don't stand in long lines to talk to him, and he only brings one or two gifts on Christmas morning. But we write letters to him, and he is in our decorations, and we sing songs about him. These are important to our family, and while I don't expect others to agree with what I teach my children, no one else has the right to crush my children's happiness because they believe I am "lying" to my children. Please, I'll respect your parenting choices, but you have to respect mine.

Thanks for opening this topic up...I've seen a lot about this lately. Guess it's the hot button this year, just like Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas was last year!

Hippie Mama | 11:47 AM

For years I swore never to lie about Santa to my kids because I felt betrayed that my parents lied to me. Now, I don't really see it that way anymore-I asked when I was 4 or 5, and they were honest with me about it. After I knew the truth, I realized I didn't really WANT to know, and tried to pretend for awhile because I had a little sister, but it wasn't the same. So maybe I was never really mad they lied-maybe I was mad they were honest.

But it's important to my husband that we do the Santa thing, so we'll do it. I do know thought that if my son asks when he's still quite young, I'm going to lie and say, of course Santa's real!

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 11:48 AM

Thanks Aline!

That was a great point. Touche. And thanks for another perspective!

toyfoto | 12:13 PM

aline makes an excellent point, but a point that I think has more to do with the selling and marketing of things than the idea of faith, goodwill and hope that perhaps we ideally want Santa to embody.

Our kids don't need a tickle me elmo to have a rich and fulfilling life, and the Santa you invent can reinforce that.

We don't have to teach kids that Santa gets every child what his/her heart desires. Underneath it all, WE are Santas. Our values are his values.

We don't have to wait in lines at malls. We can go to parades and wave or show up for the firehouse santas. There are lots of options in the "lie" of Christmas, many of which we ourselves can craft into something that will have lasting meaning.

Aline | 12:56 PM

I like when Mamalang said "These are important to our family, and while I don't expect others to agree with what I teach my children, no one else has the right to crush my children's happiness because they believe I am "lying" to my children. Please, I'll respect your parenting choices, but you have to respect mine."

I whole-heartedly agree! There are many many people who believe in things that I do not, but it is certainly none of my business to disrespect their beliefs. I plan on raising my kids to have respect for the beliefs of others and even if they don't have Santa coming to visit them they won't be ruining it for anyone else!

mrs. q | 2:17 PM

Oh my-- I didn't get to check in until just now, and let me say. WHEE. Thanks for all the great points--on both sides. GGC has gone Dear Abby.

This all came about when my nephew (soon to be 8) turned to me at a family dinner in AUGUST and out-of-the-blue said, "Auntie, I don't want you to LIE to L-man about Santa." The entire table, who have bitten their tongues for 10 years since my SIL announced no-Santa for her two kids, held their breath. I just said, "Well, I believe in Santa. He's come to my house ever since I lived there." That started a "Let's talk about this later" interruption from my SIL, which is a shame-- I think if she wants her kids to know the truth, let's talk about it—as a family. My son is now 19 months, and didn't get the gist of the conversation anyway.

My SIL and I did have a strained conversation again afterward, but I just don't think buys got my ultimate point, which is this: many people disagree on this and other aspects of parenting. And that's OK. But I expect you and your children to respect our choices, just as we've done for you...

We will teach that Santa is only real to those who believe. It’s part of the magic. And because many kids do not believe as we do, Santa may not be real to them. But it does not make them BAD children or in any way left out from this or any other holiday.

Strangely, my niece and nephew love magic. To me, it’s the same thing. You know David Copperfield doesn’t really make the jet disappear. But while you are curious how it’s done, part of you also doesn’t want to know. That would ruin the fun. (And it's just not nice to ruin fun for others, just because you can.)

I think Santa, religion, and magic teaches us to have faith in something we can’t necessarily see. Toyfoto nailed it with “Why bother with novels, or fantasy, or dreams? One person's lie is another's art.” If we are so honest about everything, I worry we will someday live in a world with no writers, musicians and artists.

And I agree with so many comments on the commercialization of Christmas. But I don’t blame Santa for that. Santa only fills the stockings and brings a few gifts for under the tree. We refer to the mall Santas as “his helpers” (even though we’d never announce that to anyone else’s kids). When my children begin to ask questions and start “to know”, I will tell them. But I think it’s important for it to come from me, not Katie A-nose, so it is not a sore subject.

A read the following post a few months ago, and while some of my beliefs re different, the part where she quotes that old song made me cry. For me, that says it all. http://www.deafhomeschool.com/abundantliving/celebrations/santa.html

Phew. Sorry for the rant. Thanks, GGC, and a very Happy Holiday to all-- whichever way you slice it.

Kell | 3:15 PM

Oh how sad. I cant remember the time I knew Father Christmas wasnt real but whenever it happened it was was never discussed. I had a stocking until I left home at 17. Even now, I wil talk about Santa in front of my mum as if he is real. My mother still gets a sort of stocking off my nan and she's in her 40s.
My half brother Tom who is now 17 told my sont Tom a few years ago that he didnt exisit. I managed the minimise the damage and persuade my Tom that his uncle was being nasty and fibbing to him.
My Tom now is pretty sure Santa doesnt exisit but he has never admitted it to me. I only know because I over heard him taling about it with a relative. He is playing the game and knows not to say anything to his younger sister. I will never admit that Santa doesnt exist. Whoever the mother is who thinks this is a lie and wrong to make our children believe, well, she must have had a pretty mixed up childhood. Keep the magic alive. Lighten the fuck up. ;)

Crunchy Carpets | 3:35 PM

I actually don't get why this is such an issue. I grew up in a Santa/Jesus household.

And while I am not a Christian now and while my family were not church goers, life in the UK still centred around the church. You were all hatched, matched and dispatched there. Our school taught bible stories. We had church services, celebrated Harvets and so on.

So as a child Christmas was about the birth of baby jesus and I loved singing 'away in a manger' and then we got presents!

I think we don't give our kids enough credit and we forget what magic and imaginations were to us. Those of extreme faith seem to fear that the faintly paganistic idea of Santa will eat away at the faith required for God and Jesus...but for kids.....this isn't a struggle....it is all fantasy really till a certain age....and fantsay for a young child is deeply connected to their reality. God can speak to people. Angels exist and so do fairies and elves and Santa.

Again....I think we really need to chill out about it all. Remember what being a kid was like for us.

I try to talk about all faiths with my kids but they are so young.

Keri | 4:34 PM

My husband and I recently had a discussion about Santa and how it will be a part of our son's life. We agreed that we would not make a big deal about the IMAGE of Santa but we will teach him that he used to be a real person and how his spirit lives on in giving. We will create our own magic by being involved with the community and making magic happen, i.e. soup kitchens, Secret Santa (gifts for a disadvantaged family), etc. After all, magic can happen in many different ways. All of this instead of going to the mall to have a picture taken and other hooplas related to Santa (no offense!).

If our son happens to believe in Santa, we certainly won't discourage it or encourage it. We will just let it happen on its own. I have a wonderful Santa book I got for Christmas when I was 7. It tells the story of little boy and how he became the "Santa" that we know today, how he met his wife and how the whole works began. At that time, I was in between the believing and non-believing stage but that book certainly made me feel as if Santa was real. It had answers for all my doubts! I still have the book and will definitely share it with my son. It's just too good not to share! =)

mrs. Q. | 7:28 PM

Ok-- I know I posted such a dang l-o-n-g note already, but GGC, I just had to add one thing. When you were in second grade with that nasty Katie A-nose, I was in effin' high school. Ack. Gasp. My old, gnarled, brittle fingers can barely type these words... Oy.

Shannon | 7:34 PM

You better believe we do Santa in this house! This is the first year Caleb understands it and it is so stinkin cute. Whenever he sees a pic of him or hears the word he flips out with excitement. I have such great memories of the magic and excitement during the holidays. Honestly, I don't remember when I figured out he wasn't real. It obviously wasn't traumatic in any way. I new a lady that left muddy footprints from her fireplace to the tree every year. Thats commitment to the magic.

me | 4:30 AM

mrs q and ggc, I had to respond to mrs q's last comment. when i read the date she was in second grade i almost yakked. i never felt like an "older" mom, until now. i graduated in 88, which means by Christmas 88, i was already out and by the next year would be preggers with my oldest. gar my old weak knees could barely carry me to the computer this morning. :)

Amy | 8:54 AM

I get asked about this all the time. Anyone who knows me knows I'm not a Christian, nor am I affiliated with any organized religion or diety. Agnostic or atheist would probably fit me. Anyway, people always ask me if I celebrate Christmas or if I put up a Christmas tree and what will I tell my kids about Santa.

Basically my stance is to celebrate with those who surround me, and to honor their traditions and holidays out of respect and love. Everyone we spend the holidays with celebrates Christmas, so we buy gifts, make cookies, etc. If we were spending the holidays with Jews we would celebrate Hanukkah, because I think that's the right thing to do. It would be disrespectful to the people who love you to not be a part of their holidays.

I grappled with the whole Christmas tree thing for a long time. Finally last year I put one up because I thought my son would enjoy it, and after researching its history, I discovered that although it has the word "Christmas" in front of it, it actually originated as a Pagan symbol so I can live with that.

As for Santa, he doesn't have a damn thing to do with Jesus so I'm fine with him.

We totally don't do Easter though.

munchkin | 9:58 AM

I know Im late but I have to weigh in on this.

When I was in 3rd grade, I still believed, and other kids started saying otherwise. My mom found out about a company that sent out personalized letters from santa and had one sent to me. It was AWESOME ..beautiful, hand painted pictures.. and it was personal so I believed it was really from santa. I brought it in for show and tell...and kids actually started arguing with me ... saying that my mom wrote it..and of course I argued back because it wasn't her handwriting.

Because of this, I ended up going home and asking my mom ....and told her that I really needed the truth...so she told me.. I burst out in tears and said "So I guess that means there no easter bunny either!"... I was so sad.. I remember it like it was yesterday. But I was sad because I didnt want to know the truth, I wanted to still believe. And it sucks that some jerky little kids had to ruin it for me.

That is where I believe a big problem lies. Parents who don't talk to their kids about being kind to other children, and not ruining santa for them. My friend rachel was jewish, and her mother made it a point to make sure she did not tell her non jewish friends that there was no santa.

My kids will deffinitely have santa... and I just hope other kids dont ruin it for them too soon. There are always ways to answer the qestions... why does the toy say made in china? Because sometimes, santas elves need some help...there are more and more kids every year...so there are some elves in each country that help out... etc etc...theres always a fun and creative answer..

And for all you chanuka celebrators out there.. my brothers friend Gonzo (This was his fraternity name, I dont know his real name hehe) tells his two boys that Chanuka Harry comes into their apartment to drop off gifts... even you guys can have some extra holiday magic!!

munchkin | 10:01 AM

Ahh... one thing bad about finding out there was no santa... I started to have major guilt issues about how I reacted to gifts I got before I knew it was my mom buying them all... I am 26 and I still get the occasional guilt pang about saying that this gift or the other was stupid...or tossing aside the clothes because "I didnt ask for clothes".. etc..

but that can be blamed on my rediculous personality ;)

Crunchy Carpets | 10:02 AM

Crap...I just read that too! 88!!
I graduated High School in 86.

Christ I am old.

Fairly Odd Mother | 12:36 PM

OK, granny here---in the Christmas of 88, I was a junior in COLLEGE! It's any wonder I can even remember my childhood!

Mrs Q is my beloved sister and I've had to live a bit vicariously through this family impasse with her SIL.

My biggest issue with her SIL is that she will NOT talk to her children and ask them to not be 'spoilers'. Her kids are old enough to know that they should watch what they say, but one will yell out "SANTA's NOT REAL!" or "THERE IS NO SANTA" at any well-meaning relative who innocently asks him what Santa brought him for Christmas. It has caused us to stay far away from that family for about 5 months (he started his Santa rant in August this year!). I'm all for 'freedom of parenting' but I do expect that parents will teach their kids what is appropriate to say in public, especially when it comes to a subject like Santa. . .

Aline | 2:24 PM

(Yes, I'm still lurking here... ;) )

Diverging slightly...

I have a nine year old girl in my Girl Guide group (like Scouts, in Canada), who is strongly anti-religion. She will loudly declare at meetings "I'm the only one here who doesn't believe in J.C" (the initialization of Jesus Christ made me sort of laugh, but it's completely untrue, and highly inappropriate). She also mocks other kids for praying at night, and refuses to sing any songs with the word 'God' in them. The Guide promise allows the girls to choose between the word God or Faith. When some girls chose to say God, this little atheist openly told them that God doesn't exist and they are ignorant for believing that stuff. Yikes!!

I wholly support giving your children a choice in their faith, but you MUST back this up with respect for the choices of others!! While attacking someone's religious beliefs is far more taboo than spoiling Santa for a child, someone is missing the point along the way...

Crunchy Carpets | 9:13 AM

aline..you are so right...and a parent should NEVER impart THEIR strong feelings upon their children.

The kids don't know what they are coping attitude about.

wyo | 8:08 PM

I don't think of Santa Claus as a lie so much as I think of him as an ideal. How can anyone say that Santa Claus does not actually exist? Of course he does. He exists everywhere, although he is embodied by different individuals who are not really magical at all.

But the idea of Santa IS magic, and that, I think, is what those who share Santa with their children are perpetuating. It's not a lie, it's the idea that there ARE things in life that are beyond reason, beyond understanding, beyond "reality."

(I actually believe all that. Even though I'm an atheist. :)

lildb | 7:51 AM

wait - am I getting this? are you suggesting that Santa doesn't EXIST, somehow?

*rolls about the floor in fetal position*

Enlightenment | 12:09 PM

Yes, it's amazing what things people believe when they're little, and even MORE amazing what other things many adults believe (again, because just like children, they WANT to believe it). Speaking of which:

One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch, with someone who was there when he was attempting to fly a small airplane saying that Hanjour was so clumsy that he was unsure if he had driven a car before. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports after Mohammed Atta supposedly leaves two rental cars at two impossibly far-removed locations. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name ("Hi mom, this is Mark Bingham"), more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that doesn't look like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces most no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the "official story" being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only "testifying" together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their "testimonies" not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.



Debunking Popular Mechanics lies:
http://www.lookingglassnews.org/viewstory.php?storyid=6880
someone else debunking Popular Mechanics crap:
http://www.serendipity.li/wot/pop_mech/reply_to_popular_mechanics.htm
still more debunking Popular Mechanics:
http://letsroll911.org/ipw-web/bulletin/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5505
and still more debunking of Popular Mechanics:
http://www.reopen911.org/ericreubt.htm

Popular Mechanics staff replaced just before laughable “debunking” article written:
http://www.reopen911.org/hiddenhand.htm
another neo-con 9/11 hit piece explodes, is retracted:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2006/180806hitpiece.htm
Professor Steven Jones debunks the N.I.S.T. “report” as well as the F.E.M.A. one and the 9/11 commission "report":
http://www.infowars.com/articles/sept11/wtc_buildings_collapse_steven_jones.htm
N.I.S.T. scientist interviewed:
http://www.teamliberty.net/id235.html
F.B.I. says no hard evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11 which is why his wanted poster says nothing about 9/11:
http://forum.afghansite.com/index.php?showtopic=9349
Fire Engineering magazine says important questions about the Twin Tower “collapses” still need to be addressed:http://fe.pennnet.com/Articles/Article_Display.cfm?Section=OnlineArticles&SubSection=Display&PUBLICATION_ID=25&ARTICLE_ID

Twin Towers’ construction certifiers say they should have easily withstood it:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/november2004/121104easilywithstood.htm
USA Today interview with the last man out of the South Tower, pursued by a fireball:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/sept11/2001/12/19/usat-escape.htm
Janitor who heard explosions and escaped has testimony ignored by 9/11 whitewash commission:
http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/ignoring_9-11.html
Janitor starts speaking out about it and his apartment is burglarized, laptop stolen:
http://kurtnimmo.blogspot.com/2005/08/apartment-of-nine-eleven-hero-william_28.html
Firefighters tell of multiple explosions:
http://www.wnbc.com/news/1315651/detail.html
Eyewitnesses tell of explosions:
http://research.amnh.org/users/tyson/essays/TheHorrorTheHorror.html
Interview with another firefighter telling of explosions:
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/Banaciski_Richard.txt
Firefighter saw “sparkles” (strobe lights on detonators?) before “collapse”:
http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/20050812_WTC_GRAPHIC/Fitzpatrick_Tom.txt
Other eyewitnesses talk of seeing/hearing explosions:
http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2005/11/more-proof-911-inside-job-witnesses-to.html
Surviving eyewitnesses talk of multiple explosions there:
http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/veliz-bombs.htm
Cutter charge explosions clearly visible:
http://www.rense.com/general63/cutt.htm
The pyroclastic cloud (that dust cloud that a second before was concrete) and how it wouldn’t be possible without explosives:
http://st12.startlogic.com/~xenonpup/physics/
Detailed description of the demolition of the Twin Towers:
http://gordonssite.tripod.com/id2.html
Freefall rate of “collapses” math:
http://www.911blimp.net/prf_FreeFallPhysics.shtml
More about their freefall rate “collapses”:
http://www.serendipity.li/wot/second_wave.htm
Video footage of the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers:
http://www.plaguepuppy.net/public_html/video%20archive/
Video footage of the controlled demolition of WTC # 7 building:
http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/wtc/videos.html
More of WTC # 7 controlled demolition:
http://www.wtc7.net/
Naudet brothers' video footage of the North Tower crash:
http://www.911blimp.net/vid_Naudet.shtml
Photos of the Pentagon’s lawn (look at these and see if you can tell me with a straight face that a jumbo jet crashed there):
http://www.911blimp.net/cached/HuntTheBoeing!.htm
More photos of this amazing lawn at the Pentagon:
http://cryptogon.com/docs/Introducing%20the%20amazing%20Penta-Lawn%202000!%20(9-11).htm
Very unconvincing fake “Osama” “confession” tape:
http://welfarestate.com/wtc/faketape/
More about the fake “Osama” tape:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/osamatape2.html
Fake “Mohammed Atta” “suicide” letter:
http://www.welfarestate.com/wtc/fake-letters.txt
Commercial pilots disagree with “official” 9/11 myth:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/september_11_us_government_accused.htm
More commercial jet pilots say “official” myth is impossible:
http://www.masternewmedia.org/2001/10/31/commercial_jet_pilots_analysis_of_the_twin_tower_attack.htm
Impossibility of cell phone calls from United 93:
http://www.physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm
More about the impossible cell phone calls:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO408B.html
Experiment proves cell phone calls were NOT possible from anywhere near the altitude the “official” myth has them at:
http://physics911.ca/org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=9
Fake Barbara Olson phone call:
http://www.vialls.com/lies911/lies.htm
Where the hell was the Air Force?
http://www.welfarestate.com/wtc/af-scramble.txt
More about the Air Force impotence question:
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0331-11.htm
Sept. 10th 2001, Pentagon announces it is “missing” $2.3 trillion (now why do you think they picked THAT day to announce it? So it could be buried the next day by 9/11 news):
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/29/eveningnews/main325985.shtml
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0513/p05s01-wosc.html
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan mentioned:
http://thetyee.ca/Views/2006/05/19/OutOfAfghanistan
More on Unocal Afghan pipeline:
http://www.newscentralasia.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1031
The attack on Afghanistan was planned in the summer of 2001, months before 9/11:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1550366.stm
Pentagon deliberately misled 9/11 Commission:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=EGG20060802&articleId=2887
Evidence destruction by authorities and cover-up:
http://www.flcv.com/coverup.html/
9/11 whitewash Commission and NORAD day:
http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/071204_final_fraud.shtml
The incredible fish tales of the 9/11 Commission examined:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=%20GR20051213&articleId=1478
Jeb Bush declares state of emergency 4 days before 9/11 for Florida, saying it will help respond to terrorism:
http://www.eionews.addr.com/psyops/news/jebknew.htm
Steel debris removal from Ground Zero, destruction of evidence:
http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/groundzero/cleanup.html
Over two hundred incriminating bits of 9/11 evidence shown in the mainstream media:
http://thewebfairy.com/killtown/911smokingguns.html
Tracking the “hijackers”:
http://www.welfarestate.com/911/
“Hijacker” patsies:
http://911review.org/Wiki/HijackersPatsies.shtml
“Hijackers” receiving flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station:
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0208/S00085.htm
Several accused "hijackers" still alive and well, wondering why they are accused:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1559151.stm
Yet the F.B.I. insists that the people it claims were the "hijackers" really were the "hijackers":
http://www.prisonplanet.com/fbi_denies_mix_up_of_911_terrorists.htm
No Arabs on Flight 77:
http://www.sierratimes.com/03/07/02/article_tro.htm
Thirty experts say “official” 9/11 myth impossible:
http://911fraud.blogspot.com/2005/06/us-governments-offical-911-story-is.html
“Al Qaeda” website tracks back to Maryland:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/alqmaryland.html
Al Qaeda videos uploaded from U.S. government website:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2004/140704governmentwebsite.htm
Operation: Northwoods, a plan for a false-flag “terror” attack to be blamed on Castro to use it as a pretext for America to invade Cuba, thankfully not approved by Kennedy back in 1962 but was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and sent to his desk:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/us_terror_plan_cuba_invasion_pretext.html