So many children, including my own son, had intense joy today because of, among other things, MANY lies told about Santa. I loved Christmas as a child and still do. I had a happy childhood and have become a well-adjusted adult. The lies that I was told were gradually replaced by truths and, by the time they were, there were more important things to worry about (like BMX bikes and ninjas) than being angry about being deceived.
Now think more generally: how often does joy emerge from lies? I think serious lies about serious things that damage people seriously are usually to be avoided. But what about the tall tales and intrigue of friendship and love? Of parenting? Of religion? Of art?
One begins to think that there has never been a time in any of our lives when it wasn’t Christmas on some level. There is and will always be a Santa that we think is out there who helps make the world a bit nicer and a bit more fun. We will grow out of some of these Santas; some we will go to our graves believing because we didn’t live long enough to see the truth revealed. In some cases, such pleasing fictions will do some or a lot of damage. But in some cases we may just live longer, laugh louder, play harder, look forward to more, and, perhaps, even become better people as a result of them.