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366 Days of Writing Prompts – Day 68

March 8, 2016

Fantasy

The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .) : a
fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying
to children?

I’ve gone back and forth about this off and on throughout my life. There have been times that I have thought it harmless to tell kids about the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus, and there have been times that I thought it was harmful to lie to kids about such things.

I think it is because it was spoiled for me at such a young age. It began with Santa Claus. I couldn’t understand why Santa brought my richer cousins more toys than he did my own family. I questions my parents about it a few times until finally someone, I don’t remember who now, informed me that parents were Santa Claus and it depended on their income as to how many presents we received. Then the Easter Bunny was stripped away, followed by the Tooth Fairy. All before I was 8 or 9. But you see, I had a younger brother and the lies were continued for his benefit and I had to go along with them. To me, it was hypocrisy, but what could I do at such a young age? Nothing.

I was cynical for most of my teenage and early adult years. I thought it was stupid to build kids up for all of that hype. To lie and deceive them. It’s only in the last five years or so that I have seen the benefits of such things, the fantasy behind them. It helps to build imagination and without imagination, we are nothing. So now I fully support it, but I think the kids should be involved as much as possible. Let them help decorate, create, wrap presents, give to others in the spirit of Christmas or Easter. Let their imaginations soar. And when the time comes that they find out it was all fantasy, perhaps they’d had so much fun being involved in it, that they will not become bitter and cynical as I once did.

How about you, dear readers? Do you think this is harmless or harmful to children? Share your thoughts with me in comments.

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12 Comments
  1. I believe and always have that let your kids hang onto things like Santa and Tooth Fairy as long as possible. Because I can’t remember the age of my cousin but someone told her that Santa was not real and she found her brother and I and cried and cried called us liars for not telling her and puked she was so upset. Her mom and my mom got home blamed me and my male cousin and the female cousin did stick up for us but she was very very mad at our mom’s especially her’s for lies about all these fictional hero’s. (her brother and I would not lie when she asked about the easter bunny and tooth fairy) So, I did see a young person crushed. She was only 2 years younger than I was but she believed and she was the baby of all of us kids and we let her. I found out or just kinda knew early on and it did not phase me. I missed the fact that I believed in Santa mainly. It made me grow up even faster than I already was. With my kids I tried hard to keep them believing until I could not anymore in each case someone else told them first and they just asked casually and that was that. I do agree with your last paragraph to let them believe and do all the fun stuff. Is that not what fiction is all about? Imagination and believing? xoxox Annette

    • Such a tragic story about your cousin. But I am glad you let your own kids believe as long as you could 🙂 And yes, that is what it is all about imagination and believing 🙂 Thanks for the comment and sharing your story with me xoxox

  2. Part of the joy of being a child, I think!

  3. I think it is harmless and just as you said, it teaches the importance and fun of fantasy. Without fantasy, how dull this world would be!

  4. My father was silly telling me the Easter Bunny laid the eggs (I was around 3). My aunt had a farm, so I wasn’t buying that story, or the Easter Bunny.
    Tooth fairy always left me foreign coins, so she was international and probably my father, after a trip, emptying his pockets. And what do you do with a shilling in Canada?
    Santa Claus was the worst, as I figured out (through a rather brilliant process if I must say) he was my parents. I didn’t want to disappoint them, so I played along for a few years more.
    So, as to telling kids: I like my friend’s approach — Santa’s not a person, but a feeling, an emotion — unconditional giving of a gift, or love, or a helping hand.

    • omg.. so you learned pretty early the ins and outs of the fairy tale creatures 😀 I love your friend’s approach.. that is absolutely a beautiful way of expressing it 🙂 Thank you!

  5. It never did me any harm 😉 As I grew older I realised the truth, but still “chose” to believe as it was fun.

    • That’s awesome 🙂 I love that you grew out of it but enjoyed the fun of it 🙂 thank you for sharing with me 🙂

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