8 Lies I’d Rather My Son Believe Than Santa Claus

by Mike Julianelle
lies parents tell
Michael Sorensen / Getty Images

My son is 5, and he’s crazy excited about Christmas.

He spends most evenings listing off new things to put on his wish list while I totally ignore him because we wouldn’t have room for more than half of what he wants even if we could afford more than a quarter of what he wants! (He’s only getting an eighth of what he wants.)

My wife is typically pretty crazy-excited about Christmas herself, although this year she’s mostly just crazy terrified that someone is going to spill the beans and spoil the Santa myth for my son. (Meanwhile, I’m crazy annoyed by the nonstop Christmas music and movies being played in the house.)

She wants to preserve his innocence and ensure that his appreciation for the magic of Christmas—and for “magic” in general—lasts at least into elementary school. I want him to keep believing in Santa, too, but mostly because I like having something I can use to bludgeon him into good behavior. Santa’s naughty list is both the carrot and the stick!

Of course, despite our best efforts, the kid is gonna find out soon enough. And unless my wife bans him from hanging out with his already skeptical best friend—don’t put it past her—she’ll make us move if she has to! Santa might not even survive this Christmas. But, carrot and stick aside, that’s fine with me.

My son only has so much room in his head for bullshit, and there are plenty more lies I’d rather he believe than one that gives some magical mystery man credit for all the gifts I buy and assemble!

Here are eight lies parents tell that I’d rather my son believe than Santa Claus:

1. Brussels sprouts taste like candy.

Whatever it takes to get the kid to eat something green (besides Play-Doh). I’d rather he discover the truth about Santa than end up with a gut like his!

2. You can do anything you put your mind to.

He’ll find out the truth soon enough, but I’m not gonna be the one to crush his dreams—at least not until his dreams involve being sent to an expensive college to major in something with no future in it. You can do anything you put your mind to, so long as it involves computers. Dream big!

3. All dogs go to heaven.

There’s no real reason for this one; it just sounds fun!

4. The zoo is closed.

In fact, the zoo has been demolished, and so has the museum, and the local playground, and that other playground, and the park, and the toy store, and the ice cream shop, and so on. Your room is really the safest place these days. Go there.

5. If you don’t go to school, Mommy and Daddy will go to jail.

Gotta keep this kid in school!

6. Sorry, that (really annoying) show you like isn’t on Netflix anymore.

We parents must preserve our sanity by any means necessary

7. Beer is gross.

I can’t even keep a straight face at this point.

8. Mommy and Daddy were just wrestling!