This is the best time of the year. The only point in time where we make it our duty to encourage children to suspend their disbelief.
While it’s true that most kids have an imaginary friend and like to partake in pretend play, they are a lot more rational than we give them credit for.
When in doubt or uncertainty, they turn to the person who they know to be the most knowledgeable and critical about the world. Grown-ups.
Honestly, it’s not a laughable strategy. We look up to doctors, lawyers, professionals of all types.
I was made to believe in all sorts of magical things as a child. Santa Claus was not the most prominent figure by any means.
I made a potion when I was 6 that changed my life forever. It was a sub par version of the green slimy bubbling mixture from a real witch’s cauldron. For one, I had no grimoire. Secondly, the only green came from my dad’s mint flavored toothpaste.
I knew deep down that my bowl of water with bits of condiments and personal hygiene products was a total sham.
However my dad disappeared in the shower after tasting it. My mom freaked out. He came back and told me he was sent back to his previous life.
I had powers.
I truly believed I did for years.
I couldn’t explain why my parents would go out of their way to create such a charade for no reason that I could see.
It was easier to see myself as a witch then to fathom the idea that my parents could invent such a lie.
I continued on in my belief in magical things for a while after I found out the truth about Santa. He wasn’t real but I sure was.
It all came crashing down on me a few Christmases later.
I was in my bedroom when my mom stormed in.
I was 10 years old if I remember correctly.
She opened my closet and proceeded to throw all my unorganized mess all over the place.
Clothes and toys were flying and I was being put on the stake.
My own witch trial.
I was the mean old witch that ruined Christmas forever in our house.
Except I wasn’t.
My younger brother found Santa’s gift stash unbeknownst to me.
I was being accused of luring him into the secret hiding place.
I was indignant of being wrongly held responsible but mostly I was stunned.
Why was it so bad if nobody in our house believed in Santa anymore?
I didn’t understand.
However I saw clearly for the first time how important it was to my mom that we held on to believing in magic.
I had no witchy powers at all except those she wanted me to believe I had.
The following year I invented that Cupid came every year for Valentine’s Day and hid gifts with clues all over people’s houses. I made my brother believe in it with a surprising facility.
The Valentine’s Day treasure Hunt was my mom’s new way of creating magic for us.
Maybe I didn’t have powers but I helped create magic for years.
Maybe this is what the large scale deceiving is about; finding the bit of magic in ourselves and judging it important enough to spread it.