Christmas Lies, Christmas Myths and the Truth about Christmas

As we end another Christmas season, I have been pondering on Christmas myths, Christmas lies and the truth about Christmas…

I have been slowly disengaging from Christmas over the last 25 years. I’ve always disliked the push of Christmas consumerism, the over expenditure, the forced family gatherings, the excessive consumption of food and alcohol, the inherent squabbles, often followed by the disappointment and depression. Still it has taken me nearly a quarter of a century to be really free of the mass consciousness of Christmas, which includes the Christmas myths and lies that I was told as a little girl. Last year I felt I was truly clear of it except I still experienced pressure in the work place, with deadlines in preparation for the long closure.

It gives me hope that things can change when I read articles by healthcare professionals who express the adverse effect on our health that Christmas has (1). And of course, there is always the opportunity to not experience the chaos of the season, but instead to make it a time of quiet repose (2).

THE TRAUMA OF THE CHRISTMAS MYTH

But even with this new found awareness I remain troubled by the Christmas myth/lie we tell our children for the first 5 or 6 years of their lives. We tell them there is a Santa Claus. We continue to build the lie with unreasonable sub-plots, like he flies through the sky in a sleigh pulled by reindeer, he comes down the chimney, etc. We all know the stories we were told. And then suddenly about the time we start school, which is traumatic enough, our parents tell us they have been lying to us all along.

THE CHRISTMAS LIE – FINDING OUT THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUS

In the US, the school year starts in September. Not having had the opportunity for any pre-school or kindergarten, I went straight into the first grade. At six years of age, I found the schoolroom setting very confronting. I just wanted to be home with my mum and younger brothers.

I remember the day my mother told me there wasn’t a Santa Claus. It was in late November, around Thanksgiving, but already everyone was preparing for Christmas. She said

“You may as well hear it from me. I’m sure the kids at school will tell you. You know how you’ve been asking about Santa Claus being real? Well, he isn’t.”

She went on to say that I wasn’t to tell the other kids, especially my younger brothers. So not only did I have to deal with finding out that the adults in my life had been lying to me, I was now also instructed that I must take on the role of the liar. I questioned this and was told it was just a little fib.

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THE CHRISTMAS LIE?

I wonder… what does this do to our little minds at this point? Do we lose trust in our parents? Do we start to doubt other things they have told us? Do we feel guilty by being told to continue the Christmas lie (with our younger siblings/friends etc.) – when we have been told time and time again to “never lie”.

The Christmas lie is a lot to take in at that precious age. There really isn’t a Santa Claus. No Mrs. Claus. No elves. No reindeer. No sleigh. Doesn’t matter if we were naughty or nice.

The whole Christmas myth seems like a lot to put on young children knowing that at some stage they will find out the truth. There is bound to be confusion and a letdown when they find out.

As children, do we start to doubt ourselves that we could have been so stupid as to believe them? Because, if we are honest, we knew. We knew that Santa Claus wasn’t real. It didn’t make sense. How could he cover the whole world in one night? How does he fit down the chimney? And what about those people who don’t have a chimney? Yet the adults reassured us time and time again that it was the truth about Christmas, with society actively encouraging and promoting this Christmas lie.

And so I continue to wonder… how would the world change if we, as children, weren’t lied to in the first few years of our life? How much more trust would we have in the world? How might this support our own confidence in learning to trust what we know because we can feel what’s true?

WHAT ABOUT TRUTH WHEN IT COMES TO CHRISTMAS?

Being truthful is something most parents teach their children. However, seldom are we taught to know the truth by feeling it in our body.

I’ve heard it said that we ‘always’ know the truth. It’s not something we know with our minds, but with our hearts. As a child, I can reflect back and know that at the time I knew how to feel, and in truth I knew in my heart that the Christmas lies and myths I was sold were not the truth about Christmas.

As an adult, I am now unravelling the impact of those Christmas lies, and I’m now re-learning how to ‘feel’. I am learning how to trust and feel it in my body, to feel the situation, to feel the other person, with my inner heart – and to feel the real truth about Christmas.

It is with gratitude that I acknowledge the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for showing me the way to bring “knowing the truth because I can feel it in my body” into a daily practice and way of being.

References:
(1)       The Silly Season and its Effect on Health by Steffen Messerschmidt
(2)       What I Love About Christmas by Anne Mallatt

By Gayle Cue

315 thoughts on “Christmas Lies, Christmas Myths and the Truth about Christmas

  1. I remember the conversation with my eldest daughter quite clearly… she just came up and popped the question ‘is Santa real’. I knew I could not lie to her straight out like that, and there was this horrible feeling in me of revealing the lack of this magical being coupled with the fact that I had been lying to her. I’d never want to go through that again, and given the choice I’d do it differently and concentrate on the magic that we all feel every day, that comes from trusting and being connected to what we feel is true.

    1. It is excruciating to know that millions of people are in that same place as you Simon every year, when their child asks them ‘is Santa Real’ and the inner turmoil and confusion they have: “should I continue lying to my child? or should I burst the ‘happy’ bubble I have created for them?”. It seems most decide it is more caring to continue the bubble, yet your comment shows just how misguided that is. What a gift it would be if we chose, as well as not lying, to support our child to become acquainted with “the magic that we all feel every day, that comes from trusting and being connected to what we feel is true”, and not look to this one day in the year to make up for the rest of the year.

    2. Hi Simon
      Yes the myth about Santa Claus was encouraged by my eldest daughter and I went along with it to make her happy.
      It always made me so uncomfortable and the first chance I had to speak to my younger daughter at 7 about the truth I did. She was so annoyed and said I should have told her when she was 6 and second guessing herself.
      I would discourage anyone to do the ‘santa thing’ it fosters doubt and confusion in our children. Teaching them to not trust their own feelings.

    3. Yes Simon, telling this lie to my children about the concept of Santa never felt ok with me either, but instead I bowed into family pressure over the situation. If I had this time over again there would be no lies about Santa and instead a focus on relationships and people being at the core of theses public holidays.

      1. Its weird how the focus is on some rather irrelevant jolly fat fellow dressed in red rather than the relationships and what it truly means to rest and relax.

  2. That time of year is rapidly approaching when consumption and excess become the norm for many, to see the year out. Over eating, drinking and incurring debts from buying things we don’t really want, that may take till next Christmas to pay for are common. The grand finale seems to be to gather all the family that have not been talked to for the last year because of the falling out from last year… gathering again to perpetuate the family falling out Xmas dinner. Our house has stepped out of this whole crazy end of the year Merry-go-round in closing the year in excess in everything. We do not even put up a tree, try not to go anywhere near any shop or mall, its great now to have 24 food stores – we buy veg the week before, because at xmas people seem to buy like the world is ending! We really enjoy and appreciate where we have come to this year. It is the only day left in the year where there is a full stop from having to work…and it is slowly being eroded. I love the stillness of the Christmas morning walk.

    1. Totally agree – going for an early morning walk on Christmas Day is fantastic, the stillness, although in truth always there and underneath the busy-ness, is palpable.

  3. I remember as a child hearing bells jingling and then my parents appearing at my bedroom door smiling and saying did you hear that, and of course I had. We discussed that I had to go to sleep because Santa won’t come otherwise and I agreed, but actually didn’t sleep as I was too excited and sat looking out of the window for hours waiting to see the sleigh and the reindeer. Then my sister suggested we creep down in the night and open some of our presents which were under the tree, which of course we did. Also weeks before christmas I would look in all of the cupboards to find the christmas presents my parent had hidden – so I actually knew without them telling me that Santa was not real and we all agreed without saying anything, to keep this lie going between us. They didn’t have to tell me because I could feel the change in the atmosphere at home as christmas approached and would catch snippets of their conversations when they thought I was out of ear shot. It was like knowing something without having the physical proof.

    1. I remember well as a child knowing when I was told a lie. It is something I felt in my body. Over the years I lost this ability to perceive as I desperately wanted to believe what I was told. I was often described as too trusting, too gullible, naive. I know now that it was a form of protection as feeling the truth was too painful. I am learning to trust my body as the ultimate marker of truth.

  4. ” … seldom are we taught to know the truth by feeling it in our body.” Like you, Gayle, I’m also removing the layers of discounting what I feel in my body and my ‘knowing’ – it’s actually super easy when I do honour that feeling and knowing – currently, the harder part is in expressing it, this is another unravelling and healing that is happening.

  5. Oh my goodness I have just seen with a bang how with the concept of Santa Claus (and similar scenarios adopted by other cultures) we have been keeping alive some of the toughest beliefs that I have struggled so much to let go of:
    1- We need to be ‘good’! A far cry from ‘honouring what we feel is true from within us’.
    2- If we are good we will win other people’s approval and will be rewarded for it, otherwise we will go without.
    3- Reward is to be expected for validating our actions and who we are. So if reward does not come this somehow invalidates our actions and who we are.
    4- Possessions are important and count as validation of who we are. The more we have the happier we will be.
    This is huge!

    1. Thanks for this Golnaz.
      1.Being Good
      2.Winning Approval
      3.Rewarded to Validate
      4.Possessions equal happiness.
      OUCH. Lets expose this far and wide. Got a sleigh? We could get it done in one night? 🙂

    2. The damage caused by the pressure to be good rather than be true to yourself and all the expectations that go with that exposed so well. Thanks Golnaz.

  6. The Christmas lie is sold to us in the way of presents. We feel energy so we know when a lie is being produced but as a small child or even an adult, we obligingly accept the lie as who doesn’t like receiving a gift or two.

  7. “I’ve always disliked the push of Christmas consumerism, the over expenditure, the forced family gatherings, the excessive consumption of food and alcohol, the inherent squabbles, often followed by the disappointment and depression.” It is exactly how I felt about Christmas since 2001. Before it I didn’t consider it at all as I grow up in communist country and we celebrated New Year only.

    People with children like Christmas, it is fun, presents, Christmas trees even for one day or week. But what about others?

    The demographic study – based on analysis of more than 2,500 censuses, surveys and population registers – finds 2.2 billion Christians (32% of the world’s population), 1.6 billion Muslims (23%), 1 billion Hindus (15%), nearly 500 million Buddhists (7%) and 14 million( or 22.9 million according to Google) Jews around the world as of 2010.18 Dec 2012 and it doesn’t include people with no religion at all.

    We don’t celebrate their religios holiday so why should they celebrate Christmas?

    All this fuss, food shopping, Christmas shopping which starts in October for some, the enormous amount of Christmas trees which need to be grown and then recycled, Christmas wrapping papers as well-what all this for?

    Maybe we just miss the magic of God, our true family, true celebration, joy and craving for it, trying to replace it with all the lights and glitter because deep within we know how grand it is?

  8. It does seem to be an outdated myth that Santa is real. When we consider the cost of the new toys of today and most technology that children would like, costs a fortune, and most parents cannot afford to buy these items without putting them on Credit cards that are more than likely over drawn anyway, just for one days pleasure. I have also been aware of how much children receive throughout the year so in some ways
    Christmas isn’t special anymore rather just another day to get what we want! In saying this I do enjoy seeing the pleasure on childrens faces when we all get together and they open gifts! Connecting with family is as pleasure too.

  9. The impact of lying to us as little children is enormous, I am pondering and feeling the impact of the whole Christmas hype having read your blog Gayle. It’s another assault on the purity of a child when we find out about the lies, loosing our trust in adults and in trusting of ourselves, how could we be so gullible to believe such fanciful stories. We also get a double whammy when we talk to friends and they mock the fact that you didn’t already know. Such an assault at an age when you have a natural connection and inate knowing, to be lured by presents and excitement into the Xmas trap.

  10. we can feel what truth is, and we start to recognize its resonance, and in this resonance we start to feel to our core, and it becomes a part of us, and then the foundation of our life is truth.

  11. What do we teach when we say that Santa is real?
    We teach children that they are gifted by a big stranger in a red suit that comes into their home late at night and decides if they have been good or bad.
    We teach them that some children get lots from Santa and some get little.
    We teach them not to trust their feelings.
    We teach them to lie to their younger siblings.
    It’s an interesting concept to assume that the ‘magic’ of santa is more magical than parents gift giving.
    We have so much magic in this world.
    The magic of love and play and nature and God.
    Why opt for an old bearded stranger with a pipe?

  12. Theres another layer also. My daughter now at 11 years old is very challenged being around younger cousins and friends who still believe, having to ‘play along’ with the Santa lie. She feels forced to be apart of the whole myth and is resisting the question coming up of ‘what did Santa bring you?’ Gosh we have woven a tangled weave of lies.

  13. Gayle thank you for your blog, I have been pondering on what you have brought up here and how it is all part of the set up to destroy what a child innately knows. It starts as a little white lie, although in reality its huge and when you finally find out the truth, you are asked to continue the lie for the sake of others. From there we are manipulated into playing the game of life, knowing the truth but not speaking out because we are pleasing our parents by continuing the lie. Life is now set up for us to continue to please people no matter what the truth is.

  14. Thank you Gayle. You share many super valid points for others to consider. A very needed sharing and blog.
    When I read through all the Christmas lies I said to myself ‘wow humans are really gullible’ or is it that we want to believe in something magical – so much so we tell these lies to our children and our children’s children. But crazy really because we do all know what feels true in our bodies. So there must be a part of us that chooses to continue the lie on a way of pretending or not wanting to accept as young children that those we look up to are actually lying to us.

  15. The Santa thing and all that goes with this lie is completely ridiculous. It’s quite hard to fathom just how much we swallow as truth when the practicality of a strange fat man visiting every home/ chimney is just not possible and some would say we choose this over being honest and true and enough to be the ones giving a gift to our loved ones. How much of relating are we actually missing out on when we leave it all up to Santa to be pretending to do all the work and receive the thanks. . . But only if we have been judged as being ‘good’.

    1. I can recall being so utterly disappointed that my parents had lied to me about such a silly thing. A man in a red suit, flying through the sky delivering presents. I recall the hurt and disappointment about being lied to.

  16. I have been completely honest with my daughter about everything in her life including about Santa not being true. She has appreciated this and I would not want to break her trust with such a crazy story. She appreciates my consistent honesty and has expressed such things as ‘my mum doesn’t lie to me’.
    The honesty she has grown up with is supportive even though she does find it tricky when other children and adults around her keep this Santa lie going.

  17. This year we made Christmas about family and connection with each other and it was amazing. My first truest feeling Christmas ever. It was lovely to experience and know it was a continuation of all we have built as a family.

    1. We focused on this aspect a while ago as well, stopping buying Christmas presents and made this time together about what counts, a true focus on relationships and people.

  18. It’s amazing how we blindly follow and perpetuate these lies onto subsequent generations. It was the only time I’ve deliberately lied to my children and I never questioned it thinking that I was providing wonderful memories and fun for them. When they found out they were truly devastated and I was shocked to realise and feel the harm that I had caused these two beautiful children through the betrayal of their trust.

  19. Thank you Gayle for such an awesome blog this is an important subject to share with others. I have a young daughter and I have never felt comfortable with the whole Santa thing or Easter bunny etc. I have told her the truth about Santa because I knew that I never wanted to lie to her just to keep this myth going, it is interesting how so many people do continue this lie to their children and how crushed the children feel when they finally find out the truth – is it really worth it?

  20. I continue to be more than irked by this annual wholesale conspiracy and dishonouring of very young minds. For many kids it’s their first betrayal and yet it’s laughed off by the parents or more insidiously, quickly converted into an invitation to enjoin, for the sake of keeping the illusion going with those who are still young enough not to have cottoned on. When did we as a society condone this mass delusion and feel it was right to bring our children up in a way that encourages deception under the guise of a little white lie, perpetuating it through the generations out of an unquestioned custom and practice? Seems our sense of absoluteness has been lost here. For can there ever be a not-quite-truth and a not-quite-lie? And more importantly, where is our sense of responsibility for bringing up our children to value truth over everything?

  21. Last year on facebook a mother posted a brilliant letter, her 10year old gave her, that expressed very very clearly the fury she felt when she was told that Santa was not real and that her parents had been lying to her. The depth of betrayal she felt was palpable in her writing and supports exactly what you are saying in this blog Gayle.

  22. What I find always interesting regarding Christmas day is that by celebrating it so elaborately as we do in many ways it leaves us thinking that one day is far more important than the other 364/365 days of the year when it is so not.

  23. After reading this article I am left pondering whether the lie about Santa Clause is the worst thing about Christmas. The over indulgence in food, the pretence around liking people you may barely know or feel comfortable with, the alcohol and bizarre, ‘cheery’ behaviour can all leave an impression that the whole event is a lie. These social grooming customs of what a good time should be is perhaps more likely to imprint on one’s image of life than a fat man in a red suit sliding down a chimney. No doubt the image of being rewarded for being good is certainly a very ingrained one, yet I wonder if finding out this character who judges those who are good and rewards them is a myth, may not be such a tragedy after all.

  24. The pictures of what a perfect Christmas is supposed to be are pretty strong, the expectation of being a certain way with each other at this time of the year when this quality of being kind, considerate and caring is not necessarily lived within families and relationships throughout the year. No wonder Christmas time is a stressful time for so many.

  25. Excellent contribution, thank you. We do know that Santa Claus is not real, but we collude with the adults – firstly in the story and then by emulating behaviours that are expected of us; we do our best to make them happy and feel confirmed in this make-believe world that they have drawn us into and we sort of end up convincing ourselves that we must be wrong and they be right – only to be rudely awakened years later and then conscripted as accomplices in the plot against younger siblings. It doesn’t make sense.

  26. If any teacher attempted a lesson that suggested a little white lie was OK so long as no-one got hurt, but that it was OK to render someone feeling duped, foolish and let down, then I guarantee a throng of parents would soon be on the case to complain and to demand the need for truth and integrity in class. So why does a truly loving parent enter into this mass Santa collusion? A lie is a lie, no matter its colour, its length or its size. The impact is not only the often unexpressed humiliation and lack of trust that follows the crashing truth once the reindeer’s let out of the bag, but also the fact that we all grow up with such high expectations from 1/365th of the calendar year. That’s an awful lot of investment projected onto one single day and thus a ripe breeding ground for an annual return of significant disappointment.

    1. Yes we stridently demand integrity from others and overlook the lack of integrity in our own lives with Christmas being a massive example of this. It is heartening to read how so many are choosing to question this and making changes that feel true to them and focusing on the true magic of God and power of connecting with others without expectation.

  27. Thank you Gayle and all those who have commented for this great exposure of the price of the Christmas lie. The price to society is huge and seems to be ever increasing with the ramped up consumerism, stress and self abusive behaviour but the truly scary part is the price paid by our children who having been lied to are then expected to collude with it for the ‘benefit’ of others. We constantly repeat that they should not lie and then demonstrate that we expect them ‘to do as we say not as we do’ and set them up to fit in with society at great cost to their own integrity.

  28. As adults these ‘white lies’ may look harmless. But really to children they are the exact opposite. I recall discovering my christmas present in mum and dads wardrobe one year and felt so sad afterwards. You know I think my interest in Christmas change a lot after that time. Really when you look at it the santa myth is actually a very cruel joke because adults love seeing children all excited, waiting for christmas and then waiting for santa, who only came when you slept. But at the same time adults end up running ourselves ragged to maintain this myth too.

  29. Gayle what you have shared is precious. I just got the depth of what you have just shared with the lies told about Santa. ……..add it to all the other things adults lied about before I even turned 5. What is true family, true way to live , true for my body to eat and drink, true love and caring, truth in word, truth in action. The list is endless and there may be others that are still to surface. So by the time the ridiculousness of Christmas was exposed, I already know.

  30. How would it be if parents simply sat their child down as soon as they were ready to understand and said to them, look there is this thing every year called Christmas that everyone gets excited about but the whole thing is one big lie. It is about being nice to one another for one day in the year when we are not nice to each other the other 364 days of the year. Whereas we could be nice to each other all the time, wouldn’t that be better? Christmas is about parents lying to children about someone called Santa Claus, who doesn’t exist but parents tell their children he does. They tell their children that he delivers presents to all the children in the world in a single night. They tell their children that he is a large jolly man who somehow manages to slip down millions of narrow chimneys. The whole thing is a lie and I am not going to be a part of it.

  31. “I’ve always disliked the push of Christmas consumerism, the over expenditure, the forced family gatherings, the excessive consumption of food and alcohol, the inherent squabbles, often followed by the disappointment and depression.” This is most people’s reality at Christmas time and yet we keep repeating it coming back to the same point thinking that somehow it will be different from previous years. Yet how can the experience be any different if we haven’t deepened the true intimacy with ourselves and others in the meantime.

  32. In reading this article Gayle, I could feel just how much as children we choose to go with what seems to make our parents happy. How this sets up a life of doing and living to please others, and how those little lies, actually become the life we live, until we stop and gather again the strength to follow the truth we have always known. The truth we have always felt held in our bodies.

  33. I am so over Christmas, it promises everything but delivers nothing, and I agree about lying to children, it’s awful when you found out you’ve been lied to, whether you’re 6 or 35 – it’s never worth leaving someone feeling that way.

  34. I suppose lying in such a way while in many ways seems harmless to me, does create an inconsistency in the message we send children. I certainly remember feeling a bit confused about the lie, even though I knew from a young age it wasn’t true. There is something in the way the story is conveyed that makes it either playful and fun or damaging in its falseness.

  35. “Being truthful is something most parents teach their children. However, seldom are we taught to know the truth by feeling it in our body.” I didn’t really learn about this until I came to Universal Medicine presentations. having lived most of my life in my mind – and being told to ‘get over it’ in as many words when young if I hurt myself. Being truthful with children doesn’t equate with the myths that surround childhood, like with Father Christmas and also the tooth fairy.

  36. I have often wondered the same things Gayle. How much our trust is affected when we are told that Father Christmas, as he is so-called here in the UK, is not real. Those closest to us who we love unconditionally reveal they have been lying to us all along. That’s feels pretty devastating from where I stand now.

  37. You are so right Gayle. We do, as children, begin to doubt not just our parents and the ones who have lied to us, but also ourselves and as we grow up it becomes extremely harming – not being able to discern truth from lie

  38. Lying about Santa Claus and telling Christmas myths is the desperate attempt to bring some magic back into our lives and especially our Children’s lives. What we do not realise is that our children don’t need that, especially in those early years cause their world is still very magical and it is us that have lost that connection to another dimension, to God and our multidimensionality and are in desperate need to be reminded of it. So could it be that this whole Christmas myth is more to satisfy our own needs than our children’s?

  39. Reading your blog Gayle, I am remembering a conversation I once had with my little God daughter when she asked me” is Santa real” I was at a loss as to how to respond as I did not want to lie to her and I remember feeling very relieved when the thought came to me to ask her what she felt, and she then told me she felt he was not real phew! Honesty with children is so important in order for them to build trust.

    1. Now that Elizabeth was brilliant inspiration to ask your God Daughter what she felt, at last someone asking a child how they feel rather than telling what they will feel. That to me is when the confusion sets in because they can feel what is true and what is not true they are so much nearer to their truth than adults.

  40. Rarely are we asked to actually ponder what the point might be to lie to our children about Santa Claus. Just reading this brings the most puzzled look to my face, a look of disbelief. Why on earth do we feel the need to sweeten the deal for these kids. Why do we need this lie? To make them happy? Why do we think we need to make them happy? Are we not providing them with enough love and attention, do we feel guilty, and is perhaps the whole commerciality of Christmas an attempt to buy some extra points? It’s actually absurd. Society comes up with some serious doozies, and then we hang on to them for centuries and watch the cycle repeat and repeat.

  41. Purpose of Santa = marketing ploy + controlling children to be good and get on the ‘nice list’ + give them some hope that their is magic and more to life than we can see only to take it away from them again.
    If we all returned to the knowing that we are multi-dimensional and can feel energy than we wouldn’t need to make up stories to make life more magical.

  42. I agree Gayle, the impact and the manipulation in lying to kids about Christmas and Santa Claus is huge – so many parents use it as a way to manipulate children into being good in the months leading up to it, and also to cap children and keep them from growing up… it really is quite insidious.

  43. ‘Being truthful is something most parents teach their children. However, seldom are we taught to know the truth by feeling it in our body’. Could you imagine if we were all taught to feel truth in our body from our parents and then was continued at school….. as children and as adults we would feel so much safer in this world being able to feel and discern truth.

  44. Hi Gayle it is nearly Christmas and I have to re-read your awesome blog about christmas. Your sharing is such a good reminder about trusting my own feelings and never deny them. So, what came up this year is – what if some of us play the Christmas lie game to not confront our parents that we know the truth?

  45. Why is it that adults perpetuate the fantasy of Santa Claus with children? If children were not told the story of Santa Claus then they wouldn’t be missing out because they wouldn’t know any different. Being fed the lie that he is real, and then as young children finding out or being told he isn’t, is a betrayal to them. The people they trust the most, who are their whole world have lied to them.

  46. Next to the lies, people use it to manipulate the children, ‘be quiet otherwise you won’t get gifts when the time is there. In the Netherlands Sint Nicolaas is the one we tell children lies about, we celebrate him on 5th December with getting gifts and sweets. There has been and is some discussion around this figure because of his helpers who are painted black faces. And a lot of people are saying ‘all that fuss around Sint Nicolaas, it is just an innocent play’, but just like Santa Claus it is never innocent to lie to children and turn down the trust in themselves.

  47. So, christmas is this amazing time when people come together, when relationships are important, when nature is important, when sparkle and wonderment is openly encouraged. So it does make me wonder why we would feel the need to also include deception and lies in to this already beautiful mix?

  48. As Christmas descends upon us for another year it is great to read your blog again. We have made Christmas one big lie, the forced family gatherings, the brief annual brush with religion in the form of nativity plays and midnight mass, the excuse to indulge in alcohol and food and to spend ridiculous amounts of money on gifts and presents. The squabbles and the depression that follows. We have grown Christmas into this huge commercial wheel where everyone is expected to ‘enjoy’ themselves on this one particular day. I remember as a child after the excitement of opening my presents in the early hours of the morning that everything after that was an anti climax and I never really enjoyed the rest of the day. As a child I knew that something was false about the whole day and could not bring myself to fully embrace it. Christmas is about family first and foremost we need to bring it back to the simplicity of this instead of the lengthy build up of expectation and anxiousness that precedes the 25th December.

  49. When we tell a lie we have to use a lot of energy, effort and force to keep it rolling. When you look at how much effort, time, focus, money, manpower, emotions and human life in general is directed towards maintaining how Christmas should be it’s pretty staggering! Even this year as I thought about and prepared gifts I could feel a tension within me, this want to please and be recognised by what I bring/make/buy. It makes me feel very tense just righting about it. What I have been feeling more this year is how this season can slow us down (it’s cold outside!) human connection is greater than objects (and since its cold what better way to stay warm than with others?) and a chance to take stock of the year, not just in objects but in my relationships with myself, others and life. To look back and see what has occurred over the year and celebrate what is coming with us in the new cycle of 12 months. This Christmas is so different from the last one in how I’ve grown and this is well worth celebrating!

  50. I remember quite clearly how I gradually learnt to accept lies as part of life. I didn’t want to be taken as a fool or seen naïve so behaved as if I knew it already that Santa Clause didn’t exist or whatever other stories adults might have told me. It’s like I was betraying the magic I had known existed in the world although unseen or unbelieved by many – and that must have been one of the biggest lies I started to tell myself.

  51. What I found interesting was that I was told the Christmas story in relation to my religion and story of Jesus. While like you say I always felt that Santa wasn’t real because it didn’t make sense I was confused because the Christmas story was linked to what I was taught about Jesus and told things like he died on the cross but rose again, he could walk on water etc. When I found out Santa wasn’t real for sure it also placed doubt on the stories I had heard about God and Jesus. On reflecting on this now the way Jesus and God were shared with me was very much from an ideal and that they were super human or superior and I was very far from that. This never matched the feeling I had inside but I often dismissed what I knew and went for what was the norm.

  52. I’ve always felt uncomfortable about the whole Santa Claus lie. I never got told it myself and I know this gave me a great assurance in my mother – together with her very lovely explanation about how babies are made when I was 5. I was brought up more in a northern European tradition of celebrating Christmas on Christmas eve – included in this was seeing the adults secretly wrapping up Christmas present – secretly because they wanted us to have the fun of opening them and not knowing what was there, not because they were pretending Santa had arrived. Knowing Santa was made up I found it odd adults wanted to pretend otherwise. It wasn’t like I wasn’t up for believing in magic – at 13 I believed my brother when asked where he’d been on Halloween when he said he’d been flying on the garden broom!

    But now I wonder why it is that whole nations try to buy into Santa Claus. Is it because people want to reclaim the magic they once felt as a child (hang out with a two year old and discover the whole world is full of wonder) and this is trying an attempt to rekindle it from the usual spectre that life is a struggle? It so doesn’t feel ok lying to children about this and children finding out that someone they trusted wasn’t truthful.

  53. I actually don’t remember being told there wasn’t a Father Christmas, possibly because I had to keep the story going for my younger brother and sister, but if I go by how I felt when my own daughter started to question his existence I was relieved, relieved that I could let the socially ‘imposed’ lie, go.

  54. With what I know now, if I had young children I would tell them the truth about Christmas, as they can feel it any way and by lying to them we are supporting them to not trust what they feel. That is NOT love.

  55. This question of the ramifications of finding out about the Christmas lie was brought home to me when the next question after ‘Is Santa real’ (answer No) was ‘what about the Tooth Fairy then’. The thing I had not considered is then just how deep that goes… that there are bound to be more questions and this massive sense of doubt creeps in relating to everything that has been presented by parents and society so far. I think these ‘fun little lies’ are in fact deeply harmful.

  56. I still remember when I overheard one of my siblings talking about Santa not being real ! I was about five at the time. It must have quite an affect on most children because I still remember the exact place I was standing ! Perhaps there is another way, less traumatic that we can celebrate and appreciate one another and the birth of Jesus as well!

  57. From what you write I can feel how much we dishonour and undermine our children by telling them these so-called ‘fibs’ about Santa Claus and all the other commercially and socially motivated Christmas stories, fibs which in truth are big huge lies. Why do we align to this when we know it’s not true? Since when is lying a virtue?

    1. That is a great question Gabriele, since when is lying a virtue. What comes to me when pondering on this question is that this Santa Clause thing is only one of the lies that we hold in life without any consideration to what it actually means to lie. We think it is innocent and sometimes needed to, but in fact we are denying who we are and where we are from. We come from truth and our bodies cannot else then live it so what our mind tries us to belief is leading us away from that inner knowing, that connection with the all and the truth that belongs to our being, individually and as a society and when we can observe from that we can see the result of this in the state of our societies today.

  58. Funny Gayle, it was something I had never considered, but that feeling of surely my parent’s wouldn’t lie – but indeed it does bring up a feeling of unsettled trust – in the sense of ‘what else are they holding out on me’. If our parents are our first experience of love and trust and commitment to truth, then what responsibility do we have as parents to reflect those qualities.

  59. Although people think it is only a small and very innocent lie about Santa Clause, the reality behind this is that we can easily be told lies as if they were true, and as everybody is involved in the plot it is hard to find the real truth. Then only when we individually find, by sensing or logical reasoning, that something cannot be true, the veils will be lifted and the reality becomes visible again. How lost can we be as a society when we collectively hold onto lies only for our own pleasure and welfare and in that consistently are avoiding the real purpose of our lives here on earth?

  60. Continuing to keep myths and illusions alive through lying to children about Christmas is simply another way of fostering a long term lack of trust in ourselves, significant others (parents & siblings), humanity and the world. As you share Gayle – this can affect us deeply as adults, with a legacy of having to unravel that which is not true in order to be able to feel and truly discern truth once again. “As an adult, I am now unravelling the impact of those Christmas lies, and I’m now re-learning how to ‘feel’. I am learning how to trust and feel it in my body, to feel the situation, to feel the other person, with my inner heart – and to feel the real truth about Christmas”.

  61. I gave Santa the kick a while back. Not because the children were going to be told by other children but because the whole thing didn’t make sense to me in my relationship with them. It was no big deal and they treated it as such. We spoke about respecting other people and what they might hold certain things to. It was about them knowing the truth but then feeling whether or not the timing was spot on to share with others. I would much rather be honest and up front about things I become aware of rather then just following what is there. If we look at this and apply a consistent world view you would think in this day and age of science based research, science would have dissected Santa by now?

  62. I cottoned onto the Santa thing very, very young, but will fully admit that there was a playfulness in going along with leaving out the cookies for him and carrot for the reindeer that I had fun with… We would delight in the fact that the food would be gone in the morning, for the fun and play that it brought to the household.
    Thing was, did we really ‘need’ the excitement and rah-rah of all the Christmas ‘stuff’, food and the rest? Today, I’d say, no, not at all – that those who truly appreciate and express love in their relationships don’t need to seek ‘more’ from one special day, but rather, if it is chosen as a celebration, it can be a stop moment to truly come together, appreciate where our relationships stand and go deeper in the love that we live. A marker that inspires us for the ‘more’ that can be to come, if we truly commit to a livingness of love in our lives.

  63. The thing is, why have we taken it so far as to ‘invent’ and lie about the existence of magic, when it is in truth all around us – if we but open up our eyes to see and appreciate the magic of God’s Love, and His Love in and through us, in our everyday lives?
    The hurt of a child who realises they’ve been lied to about ‘Santa’, the elves and the rest, likely reveals a far deeper hurt over the magic that has been lost and predominantly forgotten in our societies, and a call for us to live in a way where we do not, ever, forget.

    1. Beautifully said Victoria, it’s like this controlled lie is placed on children from very young, I say controlled because it asks them to look ‘here’ at something that is not true, instead of the seeing magic the magic that is all around them that they naturally know from when they are born.

      1. That’s it Aimee. We place enormous value upon the lie, masking the fact of our refusal to embrace the magic that is truly there, 24/7 without fail. For if we admitted to what we’ve lost touch with, we would have to deal with what’s occurred for us, and the choices that we’ve made, that have so divorced us from living in touch with the true magic of God’s Love in our everyday.
        What ‘greater’ way to say to our children that yes, there is magic in this world – but you can only have access to it on ‘special occasions’. In fact, as you grow you’ll lose the magic that you innately know and will need these ‘special occasions’ based upon falsity (as we do…) in order to give some lift to your life, however momentary…
        We are so much more than these ways we’ve allowed to dominate our societies. It’s time to bring the magic back.

  64. This Christmas season has offered me reflections around food and loneliness. As ever, food plays a big part in Christmas celebrations – less so than in the past – but still it is a focal point during the day. This year I felt the impulse to be aware that the way to deal with this external focus is to connect with the deliciousness within ourselves – rather than seek it in food. With loneliness, something similar happened. The impulse here is to recognise that we are all eternally connected within our hearts and hence realise that whatever distance there may appear to be between us and our families, we are never truly separated from them. We can feel our connection with them and with all things within ourselves if we choose. In fact, the ‘alternative’ message of this Christmas has been one of ‘whatever it is we seek outside of ourselves, is a reflection of that which we need to reconnect to within’. A gift worth taking into the new year and beyond in my view.

  65. I remember vividly the day I found out that Santa wasn’t real (and the Easter Bunny and tooth fairy), I was home sick from school and I was well over starting school. I was devastated, all the magic I thought was real was one big lie, and my parents had been so convincing. I was also asked to lie and not tell my sister or cousins… ‘just play along with it’. It is crushing to find out, 1 that you have been lied to and 2 that you fell for it and didn’t listen to the feelings that told you otherwise. Surprisingly I still went along with it with my own boys but as soon as they asked, I told them. If I had my time over again, I would never lie to them.

  66. Wow this is a very real and poignant sharing about christmas and the lies we tell to keep up the false beliefs but what for ! the real joy of christmas is simply getting together in brotherhood and sharing time together which can be on a daily basis and not just christmas day and allows true connection and brotherhood as part of our everyday livingness and appreciation, now this is a real gift.

  67. A great article Gayle exposing just one of the lies we are told as children that can’t not but taint our ability to trust the world that perpetuates the lie en masse and our parents who deliver it as if it is an innocent fib that does not harm. However it is a hurt and disappointment on many levels that children do not need … and a denial of the fact that joy can be found in life or at Christmas without some elaborate fantastical story.

  68. “Being truthful is something most parents teach their children. However, seldom are we taught to know the truth by feeling it in our body.” I feel you are onto something here that is potentially quite ground-breaking Gayle. ‘The body is the marker of all truth’ is one of many ancient wisdoms shared by Serge Benhayon. All children deserve to know this – it is their birthright.

  69. It’s really bizarre how we keep this tradition of lying to our youngs only to let them down as soon as we think they are old enough to be able to handle being told they have been lied to all along. Surely, truth is good enough for our children from the word go.

  70. It really doesn’t make sense to make Christmas about Santa and gifts, when it is not the gifts that we really want. Underneath all the hype what we want is to connect and spend time with those we love. Which is often strained because of what we think we need to do and produce for a happy Christmas. When really it is simply one day of the year. Even the belief that it is more special than any other day sets us up for disappointment when what we believe it should be is not how it is. The hype around Christmas causes more harm than we are ready to admit.

  71. I love what you are bringing out here Gayle, there are so many stories we tell and yet they are not true and, as you point out, on the other hand we teach our children to be honest and not lie. We live a very contradictory life and think we can get away with it. But it does not make sense and causes confusion in our minds and bodies.

  72. Thank you Gayle for this, there is such an obvious hypocrisy here, we teach our children to not lie and yet we lie to them, and while we may convince ourselves it’s a little fib, it sets up a pattern of mistrust. So why not just celebrate being with our children and families with the truth of who we are and without any mythical personas or creatures. It would set a whole new paradigm for us all.

  73. I have always told my daughter the truth about Christmas. The myth to keep Christmas alive can be quite strong because of the strong beliefs and lies others in society live around Christmas – possibly also because there’s a belief there will be more presents if this lie continues. Quite crazy real the focus we put on Christmas when there are another 364 days of the years to equally celebrate and enjoy with family and friends.

  74. Reading this today, I can really feel how evil this is. Children naturally know there’s more to life than meets the eyes and they meet the world with a sense of wonder. This lie about Christmas deliberately sets children up to believe that there is something magical about this world, and that there is someone we don’t really get to see but knows every child in the world and exactly what they want – all this, only to tell them later that it is a lie. I wonder how that might affect the likelihood of them believing there is god after being crushed like that by someone close and is meant to care for them.

  75. It is interesting that so many celebrate Christmas by way of an excuse to over indulge and be merry! Yet why do we need an excuse to have family round and enjoy one another’s company, when there are so many other days in the year.

  76. I have often wondered about the damage the santa claus myth does to children. I kept it alive, uncomfortably so, for many years with my kids and they all express their devastation at finding out it wasn’t true. In fact, they wanted to keep it going for a few extra years because they felt they got so much out of it. So, I started to understand that although they felt the devastation of being lied to, they also felt how they benefited from that lie and therefore they were ok about keeping it going.

  77. The santa claus myth never made sense, and I hated being lied to, its a bit like do they think I’m stupid-so they can tell me whatever, but there was a part of me with the santa myth that wanted to believe in something magical, that there was something more to this life.

  78. Being truthful is something most parents tell their children to be, yet so often are hypocritical, which is why our trust can start to erode. The way we live can inspire children, children notice everything, and the best way to teach children, or anyone anything is by living that way yourself.

  79. “And so I continue to wonder… how would the world change if we, as children, weren’t lied to in the first few years of our life?” It is very important and thus will bring the reality and truth back to what children are already feeling.

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