How to Lie to a Child

We all joke about how weird the traditions of telling kids about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are, but, when looked at from a parent’s point of view, they both have a certain utility.

The Easter Bunny hiding eggs gives the parent two different wholesome activities to entertain their kids with: egg dyeing and egg hunting. Also, along with the bounty of Easter candy (which, let’s be honest, is usually some pretty cheap candy—it’s the only food that you actually dress up by putting it in a pile of fake grass), it gets them eating healthy, inexpensive hard boiled eggs.

Santa Claus supplies parents with a mythical figurehead to whom they can direct their kids’ begging, and who they can use as a scapegoat when that begging proves fruitless.

 “Don’t tell me what you want for Christmas. Make a list for Santa.”

“You didn’t get the expensive thing you want? That wasn’t my decision. It was Santa. Maybe you weren’t good enough this year. You should probably try to be better next year.”

There’s also the Tooth Fairy, who serves to distract kids from the fact that their teeth are falling out of their heads for no apparent reason, and that soon a new, larger tooth will erupt out of their tender mouth-flesh to replace it. I’d say keeping your kid from obsessing about that is well worth a quarter.


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