“Santa Claus isn’t real” and sorting out reality

I didn’t have an “aha moment” on Santa Claus as a child – I gradually pieced together the evidence, and one Christmas I didn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore. But, the fact that my parents went to great measures (my dad even managed to leave behind stray hairs from a white beard) to lie to me about something did a number on how credible I viewed my parents’ information. In the long run this was probably a good thing, but it didn’t please my parents that I no longer took what they said at face value. Since then I’ve had a fascination with the cultural phenomenon of Santa Claus – it’s not like Halloween where we dress up and pretend – it’s expected that you perpetuate a factual falsity for the “sake of  the children.” So, it was no surprise that I was fascinated by an article from last year in Psychology Today about Santa Claus and his offspring “Elf on the Shelf”: Continue reading