Cast your mind back to when you were little. After bonfire night, there is only one more event on your mind. A proper Chrimbo!
You’d have trouble sleeping, you’d have trouble concentrating. Every day would beg the question ‘I wonder what I will be getting for Christmas?’. The whole family is getting excited and the hysteria spreads like wild fire.
You’ve made your list and triple checked the Argos catalogue for anything you might have missed. Any spare moment you get, you find yourself flicking back to those folded pages and staring at the toys you’ve selected. Would Father Christmas bring them?
This level of excitement is difficult to attain as an adult. We want what’s best for our kids and to give them what we had as children too. Maybe this is what drives us to conform to the lie; that a fictional character is going to break into everyones houses in the middle of the night and deliver copious amounts of gifts. That’s the magic of Christmas, right?
We can’t blame our parents. The lie is everywhere, in music on the radio, adverts on television, movies, books cafes, restaurants and in shop windows. But do you remember how you felt when you found out the truth?
‘Holidays are coming’
Personally, I think I worked it out over time. I remember sitting on Santa Claus’ knee when I was little. We chatted about my Christmas list and if I had been a good boy. I received a package of Toy Soldiers (a Hush bribe) and I was on my merry way. I remember telling my mum it wasn’t the real Santa Claus since I had been pulling on his fake, elasticated beard. It was funny after all!
Adults were clearly the ones buying the presents too, which kind of gave the game away totally. Dad would work extra shifts to cover costs and it all made sense.
There was pressure to learn that Father Christmas wasn’t real at school too. It wasn’t cool to believe in him. Having an elder brother and a younger sister only added to the scenario. Keep the secret for my sister but be cool and have a laugh about it with my brother and mates.
I do remember feeling a little disappointed initially. Not because I had been lied to, just that the whole thing wasn’t real. The magic becomes extinguished and you realise that Christmas really is only about family.
Now the experts are warning that ‘the lie’ can damage parent-child relationships. That life long trust can be smashed down and help reset a child’s understanding of their parents.
Check out the latest article from The Guardian based on up to date research from Psychologists at Lancet.
What are your thoughts on lying to kids about Santa Claus? Do you remember how you felt when you found out about the truth? Was there any negative effect? Let us know in the comments.