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.
By Gayle Cue