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

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

  1. I was a lot older when my Mum finally told me when I was home sick from school that Santa wasn’t real. She thought I knew, so was asking me not to say anything to my younger sister because she still believed. I was shattered, and it got worse because she then said but you know about the easter bunny not being real and the tooth fairy, eh? No I had fully believed those as well. I remember that day so clearly, how upset I was because it offered us ‘happy’ times as a family, and then I felt so stupid for believing in it and knowing that every adult in my life played along with the game and could see how I was gone hook line and sinker. It is definitely not an innocent fun loving game to play. As you say Gayle, we really do know but there is this gorgeous pure innocence in us that loves and wants to believe the adults in our lives.

  2. It is a huge learning for me to have understanding and be love when people talk about Father Christmas and the things they do to convince their children that he is real but also the justifications I am told by parents, such as the bringing about magic and the expanding of a child’s imagination. Umm… I observe but the truth is felt by my movements because I see the reactions in others. All I need to do is claim more deeply the power every movement I make when it is made with an absolute truth and love.

  3. It’s interesting how adults assume children are so pure and would believe anything they say up to a certain age then they would be eroded enough to stand being lied to, and accept lies as part of the reality of life.

  4. Life becomes more simple and joyful when we can live each day without needing any false ‘high’ or feeling pressured to fit into society’s ‘norm’.

  5. I love your term of ‘Christmas consumerism’ Gayle for the over indulgence of food, and unnecessary presents and expenditure that has in too many ways taken over what was originally intended to be a religious holiday.

  6. No one has got up and outwardly questioned why is it normal for us to have such a fleeting and emotional build up to an event that does not truly bring any lasting joy in our lives and instead brings in many cases the complete opposite such as stress and emotional tension levels can be high. Perhaps it is possible to live a consistency in joyful quality every single day. If so, this in itself exposes the lie that is Christmas.

    1. Love this Joshua. Everyone just goes along with it simply because it is what you do. I remember thinking how crazy it was to put yourself under financial stress to either by presents or host a big Christmas dinner. Is this truly what we want for our loved ones just to keep up appearances?

  7. There are many lies tied up in the tinsel of Christmas myths. Meeting each other with love and deepening a foundation of Brotherhood is one of the most precious gifts we can offer each other.

  8. Everything around Christmas is based on unreliable so called facts such as the nativity story to the outright lies we perpetuate through our children around Santa Claus etc. The whole thing is a creation and its purpose is to keep us from the truth of who we all are.

  9. I don’t think my son has forgiven me yet for lying to him about Santa. The funny thing is that I told him when he was about 3 that Santa wasn’t real and he told me he was. So next year I played along – a bit too well as then came the hurt that I lied when I came clean the following year.

    1. I remember starting to feel awful about keeping the lie going so I said to myself if my sons ask me I’m going to ask them what do they feel is true. So when they asked I did just that, and they said ‘he’s not real is he?’ and I said yes. Even though they knew, they were still devastated because they were lied to and they wouldn’t get as many presents. As soon as they knew they wanted not to know and for a few years after still wanted us to get them presents from Santa. It shows how sinister this game is because we impose it upon them, as it was also imposed on to us and our parents etc., and then it’s almost like a drug that we think we need to keep having.

  10. I have never been a huge fan of ‘Christmas’ and now I use the holiday to rest my body rather than ‘go party’.
    I check the office emails to make sure no one is left ‘hanging’ with no connection to the company’s website over the Christmas and New Year period, I work on other projects, go swimming, take walks in the countryside. This is a lovely time of year to just chill out and re charge my batteries for what is to come.

  11. My wife and I decided from the start that we would not lie to our children about father christmas and tell them the truth from the beginning. It just did not feel right to lie to them when we do not lie to them about anything else. There is no such thing as a ‘white lie’ in my opinion there are only lies and truth and any lie damages our relationships and trust in each other.

    1. That is great to hear Andrew, I knew with my parents growing up pretending to be the Father Christmas all seemed very contrived and whilst I knew it was not true, a part of me liked it because of the presents but also a part of me did not like being lied to. I would try to catch them out and made it into a game because I knew I was right but looking back what hurt was not simply being told the truth. And as you say any lie no matter how small hurts and builds mistrust.

  12. Keeping up lies however small and however well intended always create a hurt of some sort. I remember knowing for a while Santa Claus was not real but kept up acting like I didn’t know to not hurt my parents feeling as they did their best! Yet all the time this is not the truth, we don’t have to please people to love them and being truthful and real is way more loving than keeping up something.

  13. I am finding it easier every year to just observe the craziness of the holiday season as it passes by. And, as you have expressed it is a great time for quiet repose in preparation of the new year.

    1. I have found the same thing Steve. I used to get all caught up in it but now more and more use the period as a time of reflection over the past year so I can re-gather and prepare myself for the year ahead. The more I do this and honour this the more I feel ready for what is to come.

    2. I love the holiday season. I do enjoy people being festive and saying hello to each other. But I also find that I’m not on the crazy train and so it’s a very relaxing time of year for me where I have space to catch up on a lot of things – no one is emailing me or calling as they’re too focussed on Christmas.

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