The Immaculate Deception

Immaculate :-adjective
1. free from spot or stain; spotlessly clean: immaculate linen.
2. free from moral blemish or impurity; pure; undefiled.
3. free from fault or flaw; free from errors:

Deception:–noun
1. the act of deceiving; the state of being deceived.
2. something that deceives or is intended to deceive; fraud; artifice.

White Lies. Immaculate Deception. Polar opposites.

So the stories we tell with the purest and most noble of intentions – aren’t they really just lies? Santa, the tooth fairy, Easter bunny…all things of fiction. Many of us lead our children to believe these lies for years. We even get all nostalgic and melancholy when our kids wise up (guilty as charged).

I struggled with the whole Santa thing. I almost didn’t participate in the grand facade. But then I remembered one magical Christmas. I loved believing in Santa as a kid. In my very dysfunctional situation, Santa was one of the highlights of my whole childhood, sadly enough.

So, somewhere along the line I decided it was better to let them believe – if even for awhile than not at all. But it wasn’t an easy decision.

Some people get so hung up in this whole “truth” aspect that they take away any kind of fun and whimsy out of life altogether. Sure…being honest about Santa upfront is being “truthful and respectful”, but are we really doing any favors by robbing our kids of some amazing fairy tale like memories?

We grow up and forget all about imagination, or entertaining ideas of the impossible, of fantasy.

What about Mickey Mouse and Tinkerbell? I mean…where do you draw the line? How can you entertain “some” fiction, but not all?

I have heard two major questions come up around this topic:
1. Does this kind of story telling and make believe actually promote the idea of faith (in God) and trust (in people like parents) or does it destroy and damage it?
2. Does this kind of deception increase or promote the tendency for children to think it is ok to lie?

Or neither.

My ex husband was dead set against the idea of Santa. His parents didn’t lie to him about Santa and he wasn’t going to mess up his kids by lying to them either. At first I supported his position because, after all, I was undecided about the whole topic. I was torn between being honest or entertaining the idea of fantasy for my own children.

So at first I respected his decision to be completely honest and upfront with the girls about santa because I thought it was for the right reasons. But something didn’t add up. He was a star wars fanatic. Like to the point where he collected thousands of dollars worth of stuff.

Collections in and of themselves are not bad, but at some point it gets a little strange, honestly. Especially when this same person is so adamant about NOT entertaining the idea of fantasy in the area of Santa and such.

I eventually made the hard decision that Santa and Christmas trees were welcome. Despite our pagan rituals that threaten to send us all to hell, my girls are well aware of Jesus and all the details for each holiday. Welcoming gifts from make believe entities so far has not trumped their belief in God.

As for honesty and truth? My ex husband who was so adamant about honesty and truth had an affair on me for two years of our marriage including while I was pregnant, having our baby and nursing. Somethings just don’t add up folks.

This same man who was so narrow minded and controlling about entertaining the idea of a “jolly old soul” for the sake of being “honest, respectful and just” lived the most destructive path of lies possible!

As for his “faith” in a God that he wanted to ensure had front and center of every holiday? I don’t even know what to say about that one and it really isn’t my place to worry about it anymore, but he hasn’t stepped foot in a church for years (not that you have to be in church to believe in God), and the girls and I go regularly.

I am not trying to point out how unholy he is or how great I am. Church attendance does not equate to goodness. That is not even the point – I am simply saying that there appears to be no direct negative correlation between faith in God and believing in Santa, Easter bunnies, etc. or vice versa.

All I can really say is that it appears that people who are so extremely narrow minded and opinionated are actually just insecure in their own faith and who they are. The people that I know that are so threatened and offended by my Christmas tree are the same people whose faith is stuck in a very legalistic, limited perception of how awesome and loving God really is. They are so hung up on rules, judgement and laws that they don’t seem to have any concept or connection to “love”.

Christmas trees and Easter eggs are not the root of all evil. These kinds of white lies and entertaining the idea of fantasy are not going to send you directly to hell.

Destroying peoples lives, wrecking foundations of the family home, living a double life and lying to everyone you know for years about it…now THERE is some grounds for an uncomfortable situation of accountability in the judgement seat down the road. But even then, if you believe in a loving God…there is always grace and forgiveness.

If there is grace and forgiveness for something as big as infidelity and destruction of lives…don’t you think there might be some room for grace in this area of Santa too?

But again – this is just my perspective folks…and thankfully I am not the judge, nor do I care to be. I’m just blogging out my own observations here. I’m just saying…

So my conclusion is this: Faith, truth and honesty have nothing to do with whether or not you were duped into believing in Santa and Easter bunnies.

Apparently these qualities are something you are either born with or acquire along the way. We all have our choices in life to make. We can only be held responsible and accountable for our own personal decisions and thoughts, so whatever you decide for you children as far as Santa and his posse, do it with your heart, not for fear of judgement from others.

Because no matter which side of the fence you land on – you will have some explaining to do when your kids are ready to ask those questions. Whether you are defending why you chose to make believe in Santa or if you are defending why chose to not to. As long as you can stand by your choice with no regrets, you know you made the right choice.

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