Come on, Santa, Be Honest

Santa’s story is so full of holes that it’s a wonder the old dude manages to keep his job year after year.

It’s not 1950 anymore, Santa

It should be no surprise that today’s savvy children can see right through most of the stuff Santa tries to pass off, but his PR department seems so hellbent on Santa’s same ol’ same ol’ image that the gray areas are left for kids to figure out on their own—and that’s a recipe for disaster, as you well know.

So after resting on his laurels all these decades, I think Santa would be wise to sort out his weakening image.

It’s gotten to the point where many children don’t believe in Santa even at a very young age—and some are being told “the truth” by well meaning but sadly jaded adults, as if there’s something noble about that.

But with a fresh new PR department, perhaps, and a fresh, ahem, modern approach, Santa could turn all this around.

All the man needs to do is to be honest once in a while

Sure, it’s a risk, what with his magical image to keep up, but he’s got to admit that when so many kids—and kids of all ages, mind you—no longer believe in him, something has gone terribly wrong in the rumors-and-reputation department.

Though my own children are old enough to be considered too old to believe in Santa, they’re still Santa believers, thanks to my handle on the truth-to-magic ratio.

At least I’ve done that one thing right as a parent.

Behold, my parenting skills

I’m pretty sure my grown son is privy to Santa’s magic, in spite of the inconsistencies—I actually believe he knows Santa personally, in fact, and just isn’t allowed to tell me. That kid’s magical in his own right.

My teenaged daughter, however, is a whole ‘nuther story. (And if you’ve experienced life with a teenaged girl, you know what I’m talking about.)

Very early on, she was like Doubting Thomas with the questions—and vague, evasive answers have never been enough for her about anything, let alone Santa. That kid has always wanted to know what’s going on.

My daughter was a wee tot when she came to me with this— Is there really a Santa Claus—or is it YOU?

Of course, she’d heard this nonsense from other children and of course, my answer was: Yes, there really is a Santa Claus and it’s really sad that those other children don’t believe in Santa.

But my skeptical daughter started to notice the holes in Santa’s story

See what I’m saying, Santa? Get it together, man!

Like when she asked me about how Santa actually makes all those toys and then delivers them all over the world in one night.

Well, I told her the truth!

I said, Darling, I have to be honest with you—Santa outsources.

I know, I know, it kinda chips away at the magic once they know this, but that’s where we are these days. It had to be done.

I went on.

And really, what with the different time zones, he actually has more time than it appears to deliver everything. But he still outsources.

She asked, You mean, like UPS and FedEx?

(How had she noticed UPS and FedEx as a wee tot, you ask? Well, that’s females for you, I guess.)

I said that Yes, that’s right—and he gets a lot of help all over the world making those toys, too. He hires people, Darling.

When the little skeptic asked me how Santa pays for everything, again I explained it honestly. A bummer, for sure, but today’s kids present new challenges we didn’t have as children!

At least we knew not to ask too many questions knowing that Santa would “magically” stop showing up with presents if we did.

I told her that Santa and I work together, that I have to pitch in to get her presents every year. Sort of like a matching grant, which was a little hard to explain at the time, so I backtracked to just saying I had to pitch in.

Then, of course, I had to answer the obvious next question about kids whose parents can’t afford to do that.

She said that didn’t sound fair. I agreed with her, that Santa’s system was faulty. I think we can all agree on this.

And that right there makes it clear that Santa really does have a serious job to do in order to explain himself to today’s skeptical children.

I’m holding out faith that Santa can fix this

Or that he knows the right people who can help and can get his people to call their people.

While he is at risk of losing everything he’s worked for over the centuries, the fact remains that Santa is no less real than when he first got the job.

And I do hope that you, shiny reader, haven’t outgrown the magic.

Now, I can only hope that with my truth-will-set-you-free strategy, maybe Santa can put the whole mess behind him and bring back the magic we all remember. And crave.

But before I hit the “publish” button I’ll give Santa a quick call and run all this by him…

because there’s no sense in stirring up a hornets nest—Santa can be kind of a diva.

And on top of that, he’s not good with change.



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