I admit I feel somewhat ambiguous about teaching my children that there's a guy named Santa who gets their letters and brings them gifts once a year and, most impossibly, lives at the North Pole. It's a straight up lie and that line about him being "the spirit of Christmas" doesn't fly with me. However, I'm into it because the bottom line is - it's fun to believe. I don't recall being devastated when I discovered the truth, I'd long suspected it. I felt that acknowledging the truth about Santa was a right of passage. And so, Jeremiah and I are enthusiastically perpetuating this delightful fiction.
Tonight Kate selected Twas the Night Before Christmas before bed. I always have to explain a good deal of it. "What are coursers?", "What's a thistle?", "What does it mean to dash away?" Sarah, having already heard the book she'd selected (David Smells!) quickly grew disinterested and began climbing the ladder to Kate's bed. As we concluded the classic poem Kate told me what Santa is going to bring her. I asked if she'd been good all year and explained that if she hadn't Santa would be bringing her a lump of coal. During our behavioral modification discussion Kate noticed her sister clamoring into her bed. "NOOOOOOOOO! SARAH GET OUT OF MY BED RIGHT NOW!" she yelled, too close to my ear.
"Yelling at your sister, " I intoned, "will rate you one lump of coal." Before a single instant passed Kate changed her stance, tilted her head all Southern Belle and sweetly revamped her request. "Sarah, " she drawled "will you please get out of my bed? I'd rather you not be in it." Big smile.
The Santa Lie is awesome.