As a whole, our first myth was Santa Claus. It was relatively benign and usually fun for the whole family.
It was also a sign of things to come.
The conversation that never happened.
“Mama and daddy, why did you tell me Santa was real when he’s not?”
“Well son, it was what was expected of us. Everyone does it. We would have been portrayed as very odd if we didn’t, as if that really mattered, and you would have missed out on an entertaining part of your childhood.”
“But wasn’t it a lie and you always said you would never lie to me?”
“Yes, I guess you could say it was but it was not in mean way and now that you are older we can use the myth of Santa as a learning tool and as a warning of other myths that will try and dominate your life from now on.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You will as you get older. Myths will be used to get you you think in certain ways, to act and react in ways contrary to your best interests, to believe in things because others want you to, not because they are real but to control you. It will be much like the threat of Santa not coming with presents if you were naughty and not nice.”
“I still don’t understand.”
“There will be the myths of religion, politics, war, history, economics and a thousand other things and they will creep into your education and life until it’s hard to figure out what’s reality and what’s not. Maybe you will learn to ask the question “Is this another Santa myth?””
“OK daddy, will you help me?”
“Yes son, we will work through all of this together to the best of our ability. I love you.”
“I love you too daddy.”
Merry Christmas to everyone. May you have a safe and happy holiday.