A little harsh? Okay, maybe. But I get so tired of it.
Patrick links to this excellent post by "The Nightfly" about how people who say Santa is lying are kind of missing the point. Whether you want to have Santa (or St. Nicholas, or La Befana, etc.) or not in your house isn't the issue; the problem is that some people seem to have forgotten how important the life of the imagination is to a child.
As for me, well, I have all sorts of things to say. Luckily, given that my shopping isn't quite done yet, I have already said them. And one of the great perks about sharing my real identity on this blog is that I can do things like link to the Dallas Morning News essay I wrote two years ago which appeared in the Christmas Eve "Points" section:
Are we lying to our children, with our ancient stories and cherished poems of a kindly saint who loves all children and hears their whispered wishes and dreams? Not at all – we are telling them the truth. It's just that some truths can't be found in scholarly lectures or discovered in dry books of facts. When we teach our wide-eyed little ones the legend of St. Nicholas, we are teaching them essential lessons about faith, hope and unconditional love. When we sit by glowing embers to share with them our December stories, we instruct them in such virtues as generosity, patience and the sort of kindness that expects no reward.
And they are able to learn these things from us because for a few short weeks every year, we find it possible to enter the world of make-believe. We fill our homes with songs and stories, and turn ordinary rooms into glittering palaces. The everyday world is swept away.
I hope you'll read the whole essay, if you get the chance. But for now, as one of Santa's little helpers I need to get my elf-shoes in gear and finish a few more point-and-click shopping chores before it's too late!