It must be the holidays because my girlfriend and I have gotten into another fight. For almost a decade now Easter and Christmas gets us going like cats and dogs. It’s not even the celebration of the holidays; it’s the stories that go along with them: Santa and the Easter Bunny. Full disclosure for those who don’t know me, I was raised Jewish (but I was born a Satanist! Haha!). So I always knew these two things weren’t real. There is even a video of my family and another Jewish family going to see Santa when I was maybe 5 or 6. Why? Because cute pictures of your kids are cute pictures. But all of us tell Santa “We know you’re not real…” Santa was a champ and treated us just as nice, and we all got our candy canes. So now here I am. I have a girlfriend who grew up with the memories of opening special Santa gifts. Yet I can’t even remember the tooth fairy being a special thing for me. I don’t mind the time with family (fuck I’d take Hitler Day off if I got the day with pay), and my girlfriend isn’t religious, but writing “From Santa” on a gift I purchased bugs me. I also am troubled lying to my kids when we spend all year drilling in to them not to lie. So the other night (who knows when you’ll read this) we drew our battle lines and started in again. Here’s what was different…90/10! My kids are not stupid, they are kids. The world for them is still open to wonder and literal magic. Last year I helped my oldest make a magic wand because she loves Harry Potter. An hour later the wand was in the garbage. Why? She realized she couldn’t do real magic with it. So I spent time with her explaining movie magic and sleight of hand. Got her a magic kit and she enjoys it. My girlfriend doesn’t take my kids to church, or talk about Jesus much. Bill Nye is a celebrity in our house. Their placemats at the table are math tables, the solar system, or the human body. They get a lot of the real world, so I’m realizing its ok to let them have this stuff they can’t explain. Already they figured out the Easter Bunny isn’t real. Soon Santa and the Tooth Fairy will follow. They probably see the world with a bigger chunk they can’t explain, so maybe they are 50/50. There is enough time to let them grow, explore, and learn on their own. I’ll be there to help them learn truth from fiction. To guide them. I try to not tell them what to think, I try to show them how to think. But I still have that discarded wand to remind me of when magic was real to them.
By Aaron Stough
American Rep for Church of Rational Satanism