It's not that I don't like him. I mean, what isn't there to like about a jolly senior citizen handing out presents. I was even a big believer back in the day. If you can look past the time that I told my sister he didn't exist in the bathroom of our house when she was seven or eight, I really have always been a fan.
And yet. I find myself unable to talk to the girl about him. To encourage her to believe in the mythology that is Santa Claus. Instead, I feel like I am standing on the precipice of a gigantic lie.
I try not to lie to her. Sure I tell the occasional white lie along the lines of all the cookies are gone when I have actually hidden them underneath the bread on the counter out of her line of site. I try not to lie though. I don't want untruths to be part of our relationship.
Santa Claus feels like an untruth. Something seems a bit wrong about embarking on a multi-year charade that involves me convincing her that he is real only to one day turn around and say ha ha we were just pretending. Next I will be telling her that the earth really is flat not round. All of these thoughts have prevented me thus far from excitedly talking up the man from the North Pole.
And yet. I find myself unable to tell her that he doesn't exist. To take away a ritual of childhood. A ritual that many of her friends and classmates will enjoy. A ritual that will make Christmas morning, a day that we celebrate as a secular celebration of family, less exciting.
Because Santa Clause, despite the fact that he is a figment of all of our imaginations, is fun. He brings surprises and anticipation. He brings presents that your parents would never get you. He brings presents under the tree that weren't there the night before.
And if I take away Santa, where does that leave the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?