Ho! Ho! Ho! ‘Tis the season to be full of shit…
The joy of Christmas when you are a parent is that you are completely free to gleefully bullshit your way through the entire thing. It’s one of the rare instances where adults are actually rewarded for NOT telling the truth, and are instead encouraged to deceive our sweet, trusting babies in the most ridiculous and outlandish ways.
When our kids are young this poses no challenge whatsoever, but as they get older you will need to start bringing your bullshit A-game. Successfully lying about Santa will require an intimate working knowledge of quantum physics, theology, aeronautical engineering, animal husbandry, mass production, warehousing and supply chain logistics.
It’s not for the faint-hearted. Here are some of the questions you will need to prepare yourself for:
Q: How does Santa make all those presents?
This is a tough one because you will need to pre-empt several curly follow-up questions from any particularly precocious children:
- Where does he source his raw materials?
- Are they Fair Trade Certified?
- Who handles production-line assembly?
- Where does he store his inventory?
- Are the elves required to have current forklift licenses?
And so on.
Accordingly, you will need to speak fluent bullshit in mass production, warehousing and supply chain logistics. Unless you have extensive on-the-job experience or tertiary qualifications in the relevant disciplines you are strongly encouraged to say “It’s magic”. “Magic” is the magic-bullet that will shut down even the most astute lines of questioning. Because magic.
Q: How can Santa deliver presents to the whole world in one night?
The brightest young minds will poke holes in this flimsy excuse for a Santa myth without even breaking a sweat. They know 17 billion presents can’t fit on one tiny sleigh and that 24 hours is a totally bullshit time frame. They will interrogate you about entry points (particularly if your house is not in possession of a chimney) and frankly, they know you are taking the piss with that crap about the flying reindeers.
This one will require a complicated tapestry of utter bullshit that takes in aeronautical engineering, quantum physics and the theoretical existence of cosmic wormholes as they relate to time travel. It’s a tough ask, and it’s convenient to remember the universal fallback position if you start to detect any disbelief: “Something something, magic reindeers. Something something, magic sleigh”.
If all else fails, an impromptu karaoke version of “Jingle Bells” should do the trick as you hand out the rest of the Advent calendar chocolate in one hit. “Hey kids – SUGAR BINGE!”
Q: Is Santa Claus actually Jesus Christ?
The only people who get this question are parents like me, who have monumentally failed to equip their children with even a basic understanding of the Judeo-Christian spirituality that informs a significant number of our cultural institutions. It is shameful and embarrassing – do not be that person.
This one is easy to answer at least: “No, son. Santa and Jesus Christ are NOT the same person. And your mother is an IDIOT”.
Q: How does Santa know if I have been “naughty” or “nice”?
You have three options when answering this question, and they are all kind of creepy:
OPTION 1: Santa has elf informants everywhere
You know those ubiquitous “Elf on the Shelf” photos that saturate your social media in December? Whilst they may be incredibly irritating, they can also be unexpectedly helpful. If your kids start questioning the “Naughty or Nice” principle, you can tell them that squillions of tiny elves are watching them around the clock and reporting their every movement back to Santa. It’s the perfect lie, because you can show them your Facebook feed if they don’t believe you. Nothing like a bit of tinfoil hat paranoia to make things more festive.
OPTION 2: Santa relies on from regular intel from Mummy and Daddy
Sorry kids, Mummy and Daddy are rat-faced traitors who will sell you out for three blissful weeks of good behaviour in the lead up to Christmas. I mean sure, the fragile trust that your children have in you will be totally shattered forever, but it’s the only time of year when one perfectly-timed threat will ensure 100% compliance.
“Do you want anything from SANTA this year!?”
Because really, what else do you have left when you finally break down and lose your shit in the middle of the Lego aisle at Target? It’s certainly not your dignity.
OPTION 3: Santa is omniscient and sees everything
If you go down this path you’ll need to know that your kids might get Santa confused with God, like my theologically-challenged five year old. This is a Level 5 Difficulty answer, because you need to convince your children that there is not just one – but two – totally omniscient yet entirely invisible forces that humankind is powerless to explain. “Errr, and by the way one of them wears a red suit and has flying reindeer. It’s totes legit”.
You may also look like the worst parent ever when your kid starts Scripture and they try to convince the teacher that “Santa is the boss of the world” (I may or may not be using a direct quote from my actual child here).
Q: Are shopping mall Santas the REAL Santa?
This is a common question. There are a plethora of suitable responses, such as “Mall Santas are Real Santa’s friends who are just helping out”; OR you can distract them while screaming “HEY! Look at that SHINY POINTLESS THING over there!” and forcibly dragging them across the mall by the scruff of their overly-curious little necks.
Those of you who prefer to inject regular doses of gritty reality into their parenting might like to try this one:
“No, son. That’s not the real Santa. That’s just a whiskey-drunk ex-felon who wants to make some extra pocket money at Christmas. How do I know this? Because he has the dead eyes of a serial killer. The real Santa has smiling eyes. You’ll understand when you’re older, son”.
I mean, it’s not a such bad strategy because – quite franky – most mall Santas are UTTERLY TERRIFYING, and no kid wants to think that THAT’S the guy who will be creeping down their chimney in the dead of night.
Ho! Ho! Ho! I like to eat the souls of small children…
And so concludes The Idiot’s Guide to Bullshitting Your Kids About Santa at Christmas.
Now, be gone with you! I have presents to wrap, and young minds to warp.