I have a secret.
You might be shocked and appalled.
You might stop following my blog or leave my Facebook page as a result of what I’m about to divulge.
I. AM. A. LIAR.
Yep. You read this correctly.
I lie all day long and during the holiday season, it’s at it’s worst.
I lie about what’s on my computer screen when I’m on TMZ (Oh, don’t lie. I know you go on there, too). I lie about why the Oreos are suddenly gone. I lie about the fact that I love Play Doh. And, I lie about not liking Debbie Gibson’s music (If I’m going to confess, I may as well put it all out there….).
Let me clarify: I am a mother and I have small children who still believe in Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, Leprechauns, The Tooth Fairy, and all other various and sundried mythical creatures that, upon joining the mommy ranks, I am responsible for perpetuating (I’m looking at you, Mr. Elf on the Goddamned Shelf)…. I am a Mom and I am required by law to lie.
It started off innocently enough. The first Christmas, the newborn isn’t the wiser and your photos of the Christmas tree are mostly so you can prove to them that you didn’t suck from the very beginning. The next two Christmases, the toddler is still slightly aware but you can mostly get away with shopping for the latest and greatest talking Elmo product right under their noses in the local Costco. You can hide stuff in plain sight and just redirect their prying eyes. You don’t have to lie. Much.
And then, they turn three.
Magical “I will believe every single lie that comes out of your mouth because you are Mommy and what you say is true” three.
That’s when the lying kicks into high gear.
You spend your holiday season crafting lies about how Santa comes into the house, how the reindeer don’t slide off the roof, and about how “He’s always watching!”. Santa becomes a better disciplinarian than I am in this house for thirty beautiful days of November and December. The mere mention of Santa and his ability to taketh Christmas awayth sends my Fruit Loops into a panic from which they almost don’t recover.
Lies. All lies.
I have spent the better part of 10 years lying to my oldest Fruit Loop about everything from rabbits in the yard being the Easter Bunny’s helpers to the fact that Herbie our Goddamned Elf goes back to the North Pole nightly. I even lied through my teeth on a Polar Express Train Ride and blatantly told him that yes, in fact, we DID make it all the way to the North Pole. No snow, no reindeer and the hot chocolate on the ride sucked in a way that it should be clear it was NOT an approved Santa brand but nonetheless I lied. But he bought it so that’s on him.
Frankly, I am surprised that my Fruit Loops haven’t called me out on the Easter Bunny. Hey kids, guess what?! A GIANT rodent sneaks into our house the night before our Savior rises from the dead and leaves you chocolate eggs, DVDs and marshmallows shaped like no bird I’ve ever seen in nature. Seems legit. But yet, every year, I remind them that the “Easter Bunny is watching!” and then somehow manage to convince them that a skulking rodent with a basket of candy is completely normal.
I have been reduced to lying about rodents. And small men who wear green who leave money behind. And a fairy who stumbles around in the dark collecting teeth. Can you say grossest. fetish. EVER? Do NOT get me started on the Elf on The Goddamned Shelf. The amount of work that goes into that scenario makes balancing the national budget look easy. Do you KNOW how many pins I’ve pinned to my Pinterest Christmas board with Elf escapades? Do you KNOW how many pickles Herbie the Goddamned Elf has gotten himself into around here?
I’m going to miss the lying.
The oldest Fruit Loop turns 12 this February and I know that this year might be the last time I get to lie to him. This year might be the last time that I confidently tell him that Herbie is so totally telling Santa about the way he just rolled his eyes at me. 2014 might be the last year that I get to sneak something AMAZING into the bottom of his stocking and watch his blissful glee that Santa brought the exact right thing to him. And, this might be the last year I don’t get some serious props from him for throwing the best fricking holiday season EVER around here. Honestly, as much as I will miss the lying, I’m looking forward to saying “Santa, Schmanta. This gal right here spent 4 hours online looking for that sucker”.
I worry that when the time comes, the 11 YO will look at me with hurt and shock and ask me why I did this to him all these years. I worry that I won’t have the words to explain gently that part of the magic of Christmas is being blissfully unaware that your parents buy out half of Toys R US once a year. I worry that he will be angry when he finds out that his father and I secretly laugh our asses off when we are moving Herbie the Goddamed Elf around the house at night. And, oh, do I have some good places planned this year, BTW (You complete me, Pinterest)…..
On the day he finds out that I’m a big fat liar, I know that I will hold him, allow him to be sad and will help him understand that he’s in on the secret and that it will be his job to help lie to his sister until her time comes. I will celebrate a good run of fantastical, outrageous lies and will chuckle with him during all of the “So, that time we found the Polar Express bell under the tree….that was YOU??” conversations.
Mostly, though, I just hope that I’ve raised another liar and that I get to see the day when he realizes that he has to lie about a rodent traipsing through his home. I hope that he carries the magic of the holidays we’ve created here and that he knows the truth: that I loved the lying. Every last little lying bit.