I was sitting in my ophthalmologist’s office this morning waiting for the numbing drops to take effect. I started fiddling with my scarf and felt something stuck to the back of it. A curler. It happened in church not too long ago, too – curler stuck to the back of my sweater. I actually didn’t discover it until we were in the restaurant after church. I have got to start getting dressed after I take my curlers out.
But that’s not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about lies. All kinds of lies.
I got my hair cut Wednesday. Yesterday I mused, “I think my hairdresser hates me.” Overhearing, my husband replied, “I think you look good.” Bless his lying heart.
This is how it goes:
If it is 8 am on the morning of an event, and I try on the outfit I plan to wear that night, I want honesty:
Me: “Hubby, does this look good?”
Hubby: “What else ya’ got?”
Me: “Thank you for your honesty.”
Why? Because I still have time to go shopping.
If it is 7 pm on the night of the event I want lies, lies, lies:
Me: “How do I look?”
Hubby: “You look GREAT!”
Me: “Really? Thanks!”
Why? Because there is no time to shop, no other options. And because if he says it convincingly enough I can almost believe it. And confidently walk into the event thinking I look pretty darn good – whether I do or not. Confidence is key.
Same goes for my hair.
I want him to lie to me about other things, too.
Picture this: We are driving through a posh area. I look out the window and say, “Oooooh, honey, buy me that house… on that lake… with those servants quarters!”
The truth is we cannot afford that house. But I do not want to hear the truth. So I have trained him to say, “Okay.” Just a simple, cheerful okay. Then I can resume looking out the window, smile and imagine us living there. No harm, no foul.
But what I really want to talk about is Santa Claus. Remember in Miracle on 34th St. when the wet blanket of a mom believed in complete honesty, no fairy tales. Thank goodness she changed her tune by the end of the movie.
When my daughter was young, the church ladies in my young moms group were totally against Santa. “He takes away from the true meaning of Christmas”, they said. So I complied and banished him from my mantel. But I let my daughter believe.
I saw believing in Santa (someone you cannot see but who loves you and gives you good gifts) as sort of a precursor to believing in God (someone you cannot see but who loves you and gives you good gifts). I did not see Santa as the enemy.
When she was old enough to question, she did not hate me for “lying” to her. I told her St. Nicholas was a kind man who gave gifts to poor children. And that is exactly the sort of thing Jesus wants us to do. Santa does have a place in the Christmas story. And wasn’t it fun to believe that he flies through the sky to bring us presents? And that he knows each of our names? And wasn’t it fun to listen for him on our roof? And leave him cookies? He’s back on my mantel. And my daughter, now all grown up, believes in a God who gives good gifts.
One of my friends back then, a staunch no-Santa supporter, was about to buy her fifth grade son Grand Theft Auto. “Are you kidding me?”, I asked. She had no idea what Grand Theft Auto was, but it was on her son’s Christmas list so she was going to buy it. Until I clued her in. Sorry kid. My point is, Santa Claus – a kind-hearted individual – was banned from her Christmas but Grand Theft Auto almost was not? Think people, think.
How about you, young Christian mommas, what’s your take on Santa?
Now, to answer the daily prompt, by all means yes – benevolently lie to me about my hair, my outfit, my dream house and Santa.
And my writing. You can lie to me about my writing, too.