Santa Denial

Rebel of Oz — May 23, 2013

The other day I got into trouble with a family friend, whose 7-year-old came home from a play date with my son claiming ‘Santa does not exist!’ It’s all my fault. My son had heard at school from a school mate that there is something fishy about the Santa story. He knows that I have never lied to him, so he asked me, “Dad is it true what my friend told me that Santa does not exist?”
I didn’t dare to directly answer his question for fear of the wrath of my wife. However, I didn’t want to lie to him either. So I asked him back what he thinks. He told me that he had thought about it and that he thinks that it is logistically and technically impossible that the official story was true. There is no way that Santa would be able to deliver billions of packages all around the world in as little as 24 hours. The presents wouldn’t all fit in his sleigh either and what is more, not all houses had chimneys for Santa to slip in.
I could have weaselled my way out of this by referring to miracles and magic, but I couldn’t make myself abuse his trust. On his insistence to receive a straight answer, I replied back that he had answered the question himself. “Trust your common sense,” I said. I should have also told him to keep this mouth shut about what he had just found out. When, during his play date, the topic of Santa came up he showed off what he had just found out. His friend’s mother was not impressed.
Lucky for my son, there is no law prohibiting Santa denial. Nobody is going to lock him up for 5 years like a dangerous criminal because of ‘Christian hatred’ and for offending their religious sensitivities. He’s still going to get invited to play dates and birthday parties. After finishing school, he won’t be blacklisted by recruitment agencies and HR departments. All he did was doing his research after coming across information that contradicted the official Santa story, verified it and come to his own conclusions. It’s not a heinous crime.
What my son has learned from his Santa experience is that no matter how many people tell him a story, no matter how many others assure him it’s true, no matter how many movies he watches, photos he sees and museums he visits elaborating on the story, and no matter how passionate other people are about the topic, if the story just doesn’t make sense, technically, logistically, forensically, historically or otherwise scientifically speaking, then it just ain’t true. Except, of course, when it comes to the Holocaust. Right?
Rebel of Oz is the editor/publisher of The Rebel site.