You’d better watch out, the anti-Santa is coming to town
Parenting’s surprisingly easy when you’re not a parent. I’d never let them watch television, they’d be outside running around pretty much all the time, I’d never get angry and I’d NEVER lie to them and tell them Father Christmas is real.
Piece of cake. Well, piece of organic apple, maybe.
It must be much more fraught when you’re embedded with the real thing, where not only are you forced to make decisions while sleep deprived, but every move you make puts you in the firing line of the judging hordes.
The ‘Father Christmas isn’t real’ conversation - in which parents have to confess to their kids that they’ve been bullshitting them for years and that it’s really Dad and Mum who drink the booze and eat the biscuits they put out faithfully every year and (if they’re lucky kids) do cute little talcum powder footprints - must be particularly difficult.
On the weekend, an ‘anti-Santa’ in Canada took it upon himself to break the news to a throng of bright-eyed believers.
Kingston Police report that at “one of the busiest Santa Claus parades in the city’s history” a “possibly intoxicated” man walked up the route telling children that Santa Claus didn’t exist.
“Officers located the male at Princess St and Macdonnell St, fitting the unique description of having his hair formed to look like horns that were protruding from his head,” the police said.
“The 24-year-old Kingston male was identified and arrested for the criminal charges of Causing a Disturbance by Being Drunk and Breach of Probation.”
The official report did not detail the sense of betrayal that wailed up from the crowd, the crumpling of a myriad tiny faces, the welling up of tears from adults and children alike, the many difficult conversations that followed, the sound of a thousand tiny hearts breaking.
Anti-Santa was obviously an arsehat. The horny hair gave that one away. Usually, parents would break the news to their children gently, or the realisation of the farce would slowly dawn on the brighter ones, who would then delight in sharing it around the playground. He stole that from them.
And yet, in the land of free speech, all he was doing was telling the truth, wasn’t he?
He was just putting a stop to the lies, the deception. Sure, punish him for being drunk and disorderly, but can we blame him for wanting to tell the truth, to rip the blindfold off the children’s eyes?
Generally we put a premium on truth. We want our children to be honest, and to live in an honest society. Then we have these odd caveats for traditions that have arisen through a blend of mythology, popular culture, and crass commercialism.
We make an exception. It’s OK to lie about Santa.
But, in the interests of truth, isn’t it about time we got rid of the Father Christmas clause?
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