Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas, a Time For Lies

Once again, Christmas is upon us and millions of parents are lying to their children. You know, the whole Santa Claus (also known as Father Christmas, in the UK) hoax. What is the fascination so many parents have with hoodwinking their own kids?
When I got married to the Black Queen, we had a massive debate over this. At the time, I was committed to not telling any lies. Up till then, she had been lying to her children. She'd been telling them the usual Father Christmas crap. I wanted to tell them the truth, while she wanted to maintain the lie. To me, it's just as wonderful, if not more so, to tell the children that Mummy and Daddy give them their presents, rather than attribute it to some hoax in a red suit. In the end, they figure it out, eventually, anyway. When they do, haven't they just learned that lying is okay? Don't they learn that their parents can't be trusted? If parents will lie about that, what else will they lie about? The Tooth Fairy? The Easter Bunny? That it's good to get an education? That you should eat vegetables? That taking drugs is bad?
Ironically, the Black Queen's biggest complaint about her first husband was that he lied so much. Yet, here she was defending lying. In the end, the agreement we worked out was that I wouldn't tell the children that Father Christmas is a myth, but I wouldn't say anything to promote the hoax, either. In the end, I was the only one not conning someone. The Black Queen pretended to be someone she wasn't. The kids, the Black Prince and Princess, pretended to love me. And I was the one taken in by it all. It's sort of like musical chairs. Everything's okay, so long as the music keeps playing. When the music stops, if you're the one left standing, without a chair, you're out.
What of the Christians? The Ten Commandments say "thou shalt not bear false witness," but Jesus wasn't born on the 25th of December. Not the Mexican gardener, I mean the Jesus in the New Testament. How do Christians balance the prohibition against lying, in the Ten Commandments, with perpetrating the Santa Claus scam on their children? What happened to "the truth shall set you free?" When the Puritans were in charge, in England, they banned Christmas. Did they have a point? Of course I'm opposed to banning things. Besides, religion is one of the biggest scams of all. Some people complain that Christmas is becoming a secular holiday, devoid of religious significance. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe it's better to return Christmas to a celebration of the Winter Solstice. Make it a time for friends and family to get together and enjoy hedonistic experiences. So, who have you lied to today? Yourself? Merry Christmas to all and to all a good con. I'm going to go eat my Christmas dinner.


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