The first lie is unexpected. We'd turned a corner in our local crafts store and there they were. Elves. In summer. They were tiny and green and one would almost think they were lawn ornaments save for the accompanying tinsel and boxes of ornaments. As I take in this chance encounter with Christmas in August, my 5-year-old son stares hard at the elves. His eyes narrow and he asks, "Are they real?"
"They are not real but the real ones are busy at the North Pole," I reply, casually steering him toward the store exit.
So begins the chain of lies that has become my unintended Christmas tradition.
Santa has secret cameras.
Saran wrap will keep the cookies fresh for Santa ... and away from ants!
I guess the Elves are very good at making the same Star Wars Lego kits you see at Target.
While it's not my intention to pass down my talent for spinning lies, I do wish to perpetuate my secular version of Christmas that takes liberties with my children's imagination. There is a Santa. There is a sleigh full of presents. And it all goes down the chimney. Or through the front door.
It's the tradition of wonder that I desire to instill in my children because childhood innocence is fleeting.
O Christmas lie, O Christmas lie, can I ever quit you?
Akemi Bourgeois is mom to twin boys. They live in the Bay Area. She writes at Chalk and Cheese Chronicles and is the editor of Mad About Multiples.
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