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How to Get the Most Out of "Santa Claus"

I know you might feel conflicted about the whole “Santa” thing. These days parents think really seriously about the ethics of lying to our kids. I respect that. But really, just do it. It’s fun. I’m not saying lying is OK if it’s fun. I’m saying that in the specific case of Santa Claus you should help perpetuate the myth because it’s fun.

I fully believed in Santa Claus until 4th grade. At that time I discovered a stash of presents in my mom’s room. That’s when I knew. I wasn’t crushed and I didn’t feel betrayed. I was just stoked to be getting a corduroy blazer for Christmas! (It was the the 80s.)

Once you’ve grappled with the ethics and decided to get on board with the great Santa deception, you may as well make the most of it. After all, YOU are buying the presents. YOU are staying up late. YOU are dividing the Christmas candy evenly between the stockings to prevent disputes. Therefore, YOU need to be on the receiving end of some good behavior. Start now–Another phrase might be “start milking it now.”

Here’s a little advice on getting the most out of the myth, after the jump.

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  • Ramp Up References to Santa 1 of 5
    Ramp Up References to Santa
    Start to occasionally reference Santa when your kids don't obey you. You can ramp up these references consistently until Christmas Eve. Act like you're on their side though, so you get to be good cop to Santa's bad cop. Say things like, "I hope Santa didn't hear that. . . " And if you have a problem being manipulative like this then you've probably never had your preschooler call you on your bluff to keep them home from school if they don't put on their shoes.
    Photo Credit: MorgueFile
  • Embellish 2 of 5
    Embellish
    Talk about the North Pole. Explain elves. Describe the reindeer and the whole deal. You know how you can always spot a liar because they give you too many details? Well, when it comes to Santa Claus the lying rule is inverted. The more [lies] the merrier [the jolly old elf].
    Photo Credit: MorgueFile
  • Pretend Not to Read Their Christmas List 3 of 5
    Pretend Not to Read Their Christmas List
    Pretend to blow off their Christmas list. Act like you don't even notice it. After all, it's Santa who chooses the toys. This lends so much credibility to the fraud. What's it to you anyway? As if you're some elf in a workshop slaving away to meet your kids' demands? Actually, that sounds exactly like what I do all day. Sigh.
    Photo Credit: MorgueFile
  • Encourage Service 4 of 5
    Encourage Service
    Encourage your kids to serve you. Since kids are trying to please Santa you have to explain that service to others pleases Santa. He's not here to be served directly, but he notices when you do the dishes or bring your mom a cold Diet Coke from the fridge. So you better be good for goodness sake!
    Photo Credit: MorgueFile
  • Drop It After Christmas 5 of 5
    Drop It After Christmas
    After Christmas you mustn't speak of Santa until the following November. I've tried to use Santa all year-round but it just dilutes the effectiveness. Any more than 2 months of milking it results in diminishing returns. There's always the Easter bunny!
    Photo Credit: MorgueFile

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Read more from me at Every Day I Write the Book

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