In a Word . . . Lie – how can people lie to children about Santa’

I saw Santa’s teeth marks in the Christmas cake and his footprints in ashes beside our fire

Such shocking encouragement of lying to children was bad but that it should be published bordered on the scandalous

Such shocking encouragement of lying to children was bad but that it should be published bordered on the scandalous

 

So many lies in so little time. Last June our neighbours bought a pig in a poke from the three Brexiteers, Boris, Farage and Gove, and now their country faces a future alone and palely loitering on the edge of history. In the US they went further. Spurred by outrageous fake news, they voted into the White House the greatest snake-oil salesmen of all. Not bad for a Trick Whittington born with a gold foot in his mouth.

Yet no greater falsehood was proffered this year of the preferred airy nothing than that suggested by the Daily Telegraph on November 24th last in an article headed “Parents urged to stop pretending Father Christmas is real”.

Such shocking encouragement of lying to children was bad but that it should be published as they had begun writing to Santa/Father Christmas bordered on the scandalous. To add stinging insult, November 24th is my birthday. Nothing, but nothing, is sacred any more.

Truth has been abandoned with an indifference similar to what was once the lot of Little Orphan Annie and of Tiny Tim in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Why would anyone encourage a lie which would deprive children of the magic of Christmas, particularly when we all know Santa/Father Christmas exists? We know it from our own childhoods.

Just as we also know the Tooth Fairy is generous to those who lose baby teeth and that some of us were brought into this world by a stork. In my own case, as I have been reliably informed, it was somewhat different. I was found under head of cabbage and have never had a reason to doubt it.

Also in my own case, one of my brothers said he heard Santa Claus arrive at our house one Christmas and that his sleigh made a loud noise scratching along our roof. I never did understand how the noise didn’t wake me up, too.

Of course I saw Santa’s teeth marks in the Christmas cake he left behind and there were his footprints in ashes beside our fire. I was delighted to find out he wore shoes that were the same size as my father’s. I mean, what were the chances of that?

Children of the world, ignore the Daily Telegraph. Others should too.

Lie, an intentional untruth, from Old English lyge, German lügen, Old Norse ljuga.

inaword@irishtimes.com

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.