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Todd Parker Todd Parker
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Dear Todd Parker (11/26/14)

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So I'm in a bit of a holiday conundrum and I'm not sure what to do.

I have a good friend who has two kids the older (a girl) is 10 and the younger (a boy) is seven. They've reached the age where they're starting to question certain aspects of the holiday. The girl especially had started hearing some things in the classroom and the doubts were starting to filter in. But my friend is a big Christmas lover and has really enjoyed keeping that magic alive as long as possible, so she asked me to help.

Early last December, I called her and asked to speak to her kidspretending to be Santa Claus. And I don't mean to brag, but I crushed it; I was an AWESOME Santa. Those kids got to celebrate that holiday with their faith in Yuletide magic totally reenergized.

Alas, nothing lasts forever.

At the bus stop last week, the girl's belief was finally, irreparably shattered by a group of her peers. She came home asking all the direct questions that indicate that certain doubts have officially been confirmed. After a little bit of consolation, she asked one last question of her mom.

'So who pretended to be Santa?'

I'm not sure what to do here. My friend hasn't really decided what she's going to do yet, but I'm still listed as 'Santa' in her contacts. I could get this call at any time.

Thoughts?

Busted in Bangor

Dear Busted,

Oh man. That's rough. That is ROUGH.

You clearly need to get out in front of this thing. Any knowledge on this kid's part with regards to your collusion on this will totally alter her relationship with Uncle Busted. You don't want to be painted with the liar brush, even if you did lie with good intentions. And make no mistake this is kind of a big one.

(Good on you for trying to extend the holiday magic, by the way. I hate a lot of things about a lot of things including the holiday season but kids believing in Santa isn't one of them.)

It sounds like your friend's daughter is a sweet kid; sweet kids usually manage to hold on to their belief the longest. But once they're up in double digits, it's probably time, sad as it is to say.

However and it's important for me to get this off my chest I must ask: what kind of monster would debunk Santa at a crowded bus stop? Seriously that's the worst kind of smug kid, showing off his or her insider info. Probably talking overly loudly, too, in hopes of forcing some younger kids to grow up too soon. Yes, kids will be kids or whatever, but I'm pretty sure that one is a budding sociopath.

You duck it, my friend. Duck it and duck it and duck it some more. Figure out some path toward plausible deniability. Because as bad as you feel right now, you're going to feel worse when the confirmation of your conspiracy is the last straw.

The collapse is coming, if it hasn't already all you can do now is hope to minimize the damage.

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