Extra Pulp: My White (Christmas) Lie

Laura Anders Lee believes in the magic and wonder of the season.

David Vallejo

Before my husband and I even had kids, I daydreamed about future Christmases in our house and what wonderful traditions we would continue from both our families. One of the roles I looked forward to most was getting to play Santa. So when we did have children, it surprised me to learn that there is a pretty passionate parenting debate over Santa Claus. There are a large number of families out there who don’t do Santa for their kids because they feel they’re lying to their children. While trying not to judge other parents’ decisions, I still can’t help but think my lie is justified.

Being a kid is magical. My two sons see the world through rose-colored glasses. They don’t see income or race or political party—they just see people. They get the biggest thrill out of mundane things like riding an elevator or taking a different route to school. So at Christmastime, life is extra special, and their imaginations run unbridled.

In my Christian faith, December is a time to celebrate the Advent season and the birth of Christ. For me, Christmas is a time for being with family near and far, and for giving to both loved ones and to strangers in need. It’s a time to believe in a better world where love conquers all and every kid gets presents. And now as a mom myself, Christmas is a time for me to give my children what my parents gave me: the most cherished memories of my life.

On Christmas Eve, my younger brother, Will, and I always slept in the same room upstairs. In the morning, we waited in our pj’s on the top step until our parents gave us the green light—quite literally, on Mom’s 1980s-era camcorder. We made our way downstairs and found an abundance of presents and loaded stockings that had magically appeared overnight. I hardly remember what was inside them, but what I do remember is the thrill that shivered through my entire body as I waited on that top step followed by the sheer excitement of walking into the living room, discovering cookie crumbs and carrot bits, and squealing to my brother in absolute awe, “He came! He came!”

Today as a mom, the Santa Claus debate has made me conscious of other lies I tell my children. When I gave birth to William, I carefully dodged Anders’ questions about how William came to be in my belly and how he managed to get out. When William, now 5, tells me he is going to be a superhero when he grows up, I don’t shake my head in doubt. When Anders, now 7, overhears the morning news, I don’t share all the scary details I know about North Korea. And this December, when I catch my boys staring at the fireplace in wonderment, asking me how Santa can get to every house in one night, I will lie again.

I do remember the moment I discovered the truth about Santa, and yes, I was a little devastated. I actually found out the night before Easter, and it was especially hard realizing my parents were in on the bunny deal along with Santa and the Tooth Fairy.

But my heartbreak that Easter eve was just my first of many. That night on the front porch talking with my mother prepared me for what was to come. (It was on that same front porch that I confronted my mom and dad about how babies were made, after hearing the old “your-dad-parked-his-limo-in-your-mom’s-garage” joke. Talk about an appalled third grader!)

I never regretted believing in Santa, and I never felt duped. In fact, I went along with the story that year and the following year so my younger brother could experience that Christmas magic a little longer. And I’m going along with it today, because I want my boys to bask in their world of make believe, to remain innocent for as long as possible.It won’t be long before they discover the world can be a much harsher place than a trip to the timeout chair. Anders is already in first grade, and I know our Santa Claus days are numbered. Soon enough, they will face reality. But until then, I will give my children the most magical and perfect world I can, even if it means telling a lie.

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

College Guide List 2019

2019 Premier Veterinarians

The 2019 Central Florida List is OUT! Each year Orlando Magazine publishes the Premier Veterinarians List. Take a look at the full list now.

2018 Premier Doctors

Our annual list of over 500 doctors.

Real Estate All Stars 2019

Let Orlando's best real estate agents help you find your dream home!

Retirement Living 2019

This feature highlights several great retirement communities that Central Florida has to offer.

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2019

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2019

Our annual list featuring 220 of the area's finest dental professionals.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Health Hub: Take The Feel Whole Challenge With Us

Now is the best time to start! Come take the Feel Whole Challenge with us!

Upgrade Your Specs! Oxford Eyes In Ivanhoe Village

Get ready for Fall with the latest eyewear trends and avoid those busy malls!

Focus On With Dr. Sadek: Women’s Health and Epilepsy

Did you know women face additional challenges with epilepsy due to hormones?

Health Hub: Why Are Flu Shots Important?

Fall has arrived, and with it, the start of flu season. While you can get the flu at any time, cases typically rise in October and hit their peak around the holidays. Learn why it's important to get your flu shot!

Special Olympics Florida Celebrates Its Annual Champions Gala

This annual exclusive event honors community leaders and fundraises for statewide athletics!
Edit Module