Had an interesting comment from Zoe this morning. After she found the elf and was pointing it out to me she said:
It looks fake, but it’s real. It looks like it was sewn together like a doll but it’s not.
That kinda struck me. We’ve been wondering how long until she realized the whole Santa thing was a ruse. Although I don’t at all view the Santa lie as harmful to the kid, I kinda didn’t like the elf idea for forwarding it. It’s sort of like… how to put this. It adds a little extra edge to the implied “OR ELSE” side of it. Rather like Christianity I suppose. Believe in this thing and be good, and you get good things, or else! Believe in Santa and be nice, and you get good things, or else!
It in turn leads me to wonder if she has figured it out, and is reticent to admit to it out of fear that the presents might stop after all. In which case, is that somehow harmful to her? Because I remember what I went through as a teenager once I realized my own atheism, and the fear of discovery / ostracism I went through. A constant feeling of dread around peers which, needless to say, I wouldn’t wish on a six year old.
Erin and I are going to need to talk about that. On the other hand, this all came up because her school is doing it. Do we tell her ok, yeah, Santa’s not real, now don’t tell anyone and keep it quiet? Because that, too, brings back some painful memories.