Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Game Is Up, Kringle

My seven year-old daughter does not believe in Santa Claus anymore, apparently. It happened naturally I guess, though I suspect it may be because I listen to Father Christmas by The Kinks pretty regularly this time of year and the line "When I was small I believed in Santa Claus/Though I knew it was my dad".

There are of course two schools of thought on the Santa/No Santa LYING/NO LYING question. I struggled with the LYING aspect of the decision for a long time (because it is my jam to struggle with/worry about everything) and finally settled with my wife on the MAGIC argument. The LYING problem is that your kid of course believes everything you say with perfect, unquestioning faith, and when they find out Santa isn't real, they fall from innocence, much like that Michael J Fox movie where he was in a war or something and you had to pretend you weren't thinking "Looka that--it's Alex P Keaton in Vietnam" the whole time. That, of course, presupposes that your kid actually believes everything you say, whereas I have been telling my daughter made-up stuff pretty much since she was born. It's one of the reasons I had a kid in the first place.

The MAGIC argument is that there is very little magic left in the world. All the answers to everything are at our fingertips all time--even if we choose not to look up those answers, like what the name of that Michael J Fox movie was--so having some inexplicable things is no bad thing. Don't get me wrong; one can go too far and end up putzing around the woods at all hours looking for bigfoots.

But my daughter doesn't really seem to care if Santa is not real, and having Ray Davies break it to you is not the worst. 

My daughter seems to be a very truth-oriented kid and always wants to know the real story behind things, a quality I admire. When I was a kid I had a real love for legend and the mystical, even though my parents were godless rationalists, so maybe it is the same for her. 

She certainly seems to enjoy stories about mice solving crimes, so there's that.

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