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.
(1) The Silly Season and its Effect on Health by Steffen Messerschmidt
(2) What I Love About Christmas by Anne Mallatt
By Gayle Cue
342 thoughts on “Christmas Lies, Christmas Myths and the Truth about Christmas”
The big hype about Christmas impacted by media attention and how much money is being spent by people hits the headlines every year. Retailers relying on customers and decorations being sold earlier and earlier in the year, the world can be crazy over this white bearded man.
I’ve never understood this time of year, most people having a frenzy and then the lull hits us. some even call it the silly season and silly it is.
We can appreciate one another any time of the year, and we can meet any time of the year. Slowly slowly people are realising and over time more and more people will stop buying into those frenzies, and we can celebrate us any day, any reason, and any season of the year.
Thank you Gayle for presenting this blog on Christmas lies – and yes it is quiet sad to feel how as children we actually know this is a lie and yet because of the conviction of our parents and those around us we play the game often because we do not want to hurt them and their feelings. But what hurts more than the lie is the fact of how they play that game.
So much energy and effort is put into maintaining a lie and at Christmas this is more evident. It is really draining to maintain lies.
Leigh spot on, it is draining to maintain a lie, Christmas is one of them and there are many more we’ve bought into too. The world and its people have been lied to for centuries and life times, one day more and more of us will wake up to these lies and from there we live a more true life.
What if the sub-plot has a deeper plot to return us to our Soul and Christ is part of that return and we can celebrate the Christ energy every day along with the virtues that we hold-true so we are more nurturing on a daily basis and thus deepen our sacredness so we become more responsible for the way we live in every-aspect of life. The virtues of Virgo lived as Christ-mas every day seems more like a Living-ness and a simple approach to a joy-filled life.
There’s this societal pressure on us to do Christmas as it is prescribed, but we all feel the lies in its fabric and no one actually wants it that way.
Spot on and it creates this huge weight and expectation on how to be, how to dress, how to eat, and how to behave, all controlled and not allowing our natural expression and our natural stop and celebration of us as families and the love that we are and hold for each other.
Or it is the ‘its okay as its a little white lie’ lie. When we allow ourselves to feel the absolute magic in life, to connect to the divinity within and the magic of oneness there is no way we would want to tell a little white lie but rather support our younger generation to feel the truth and beauty of this magic within for themselves. We have literally gone so far off track it is not funny … time to get back on track.
This is a refreshing and sobering read along with a very poignant question ‘WHAT IS THE PRICE OF THE CHRISTMAS LIE?’. Being the 14th December today I can feel the push and sell from retailers more than every before and it if not nice. But what is really sobering about your blog is that fact that every year we sell this lie, literally and continue to lie to our children and you are right what foundation are we laying for them when we are happy to tell them a lie for the first years of their life only for them to find out we have been lying all along … and this is from the people that they have grown to trust in their life and then if this is not enough (for them to have found out they have been lied to by the people they trust) as it happened to you ask them to then keep the lie for their younger siblings. Like this is crazy!!!
Christmas can see an increase in business and rushing around to fit into a certain picture of how everything should be. But even if I don’t have a to-do list the length of a toilet roll and may only have 2 tasks in a day I can still do those in a driven, busy way.
I remember when I found out that Father Christmas wasn’t real, I was actually devastated, as my seemingly magical bubble was burst in a split second. And it was exactly as you say, not so much that Santa wasn’t real, but that I had been led to believe something that wasn’t true. But what’s worse, is that I did the same for my own children…. There is so much we can celebrate at this time of year, by being together and simply enjoying each others company, and yes it can still be magical, truly so.
I have found Christmas an interesting time of the year. Not only is there a push to shop, buy presents, mountains of food there is also a pressure to get away and have a break. As a nurse I have worked many christmases and been on the receiving end of the christmas day ‘cheer’. I have also been alone on Christmas day which is also a strange feeling, for really it is no different than any other day of the year, but yet on that day we cannot be alone, even though we have many days alone during the year. So much pressure is placed on this day being a certain way and yet that same effort is not placed on any other day. I have to say I have always found this difficult.
Kids know when we are lying to them so lying about Santa Clause is really more for the adults than for the kids.
Children are very smart. I recall hearing a child say that Santa Claus cannot possibly climb down the chimney because it is too small.
It is quite crazy how people get so caught up in the Christmas hype, it is just another day yet I see how many get so stressed or exhausted trying to squeeze themselves into these perfect pictures of how they want they day to be.
Yes, many people get even more stressed than they already were, it is indeed another aspect of how crazy we can be as human beings.
There are so many lies around Christmas and we continue to propagate them, yet children know they’re lies and yet what do we think they or more pertinently gain from lying? Why can we not just be us? No put-on’s elves or Santas in sight, after all that’s what we all need to be us, and to let others be them and see us and for us to see them!
I lie to you but I will make it up with a gift, so you will forgive me of how gifted I am in lying. Merry Christmas.
A formula to set up a family with lies and distrust and confusion – all a distraction so as not to feel the steadiness, the knowing and the love that resides deep within us all.
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.
Its actually quite a shock. I remember seeing my christmas present that santa was going to bring me in my parents cupboard. I didn’t know what to say. I was stopped in my tracks. Then I saw that the whole construct of christmas was a lie too. We cannot underestimate how hurtful this is for children to know that a) they were lied to and B) that it was by people that we so deeply trust. There is no intention to hurt at all, I understand this, but are we really considering the effect that this has on children?
Could this be the biggest setup ever to deliver a message to children that they can’t fully trust the adults in their lives. And if it is, who does it serve to have seperation in families? Interesting that this is something brought in by mainstream religion.
Great point Aimee.
There is this ‘gorgeous pure innocence in us that loves’, how lovely if that stays alive and the adults in our lives support this.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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?
There are several things that have an adverse effect on our health and even if this is clearly stated it does not deter people from going there.
Yes, people carry on regardless, it often takes a big health scare or stop moment to help them re-evaluate their lives.
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.
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.
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.