Last week, I wrote a hilarious piece of festive sketch comedy for a radio program (that shall remain nameless) about how Santa is dead. I was told it couldn't be aired, not because it was too dark (it was too dark, but that was a secondary problem) but because a kid might hear it in the car and be crushed. I'm not setting out to crush children's spirits, but how on earth did I end up having the responsibility of lying to other people's children? If you want to lie to your kids, fine. Awesome. Lie away. Bring other adults in on the lie, even. But you can't assume that all adults are automatically going around lying just in case your kid is listening.
In 2011, a newscaster in Chicago was inundated with hate mail after mentioning on air that Santa isn't real.
You guys, Santa isn't real. That's a true statement. [Alex is full of shit. Santa is SO real.—Editors] And if there's one place that should be able to say true things without coming under fire, it's news programs.
Newscasters shouldn't be expected to help you manipulate your children into behaving themselves. That's your job and yours alone.
Even worse, pretty much every news station in the country broadcasts video from NORAD tracking Santa as he leaves the North Pole. The people in charge of protecting us from nuclear war are participating in a program to lie to your kids.
When I ask parents if they're lying to their kids about Santa this year, I frequently hear some version of this: "I don't want my kid to be the one telling other kids on the playground that there's no Santa." People are worried that their child might accidentally say something TRUE in mixed company. That's an insane way to parent.
For the record, I love lying to kids. If you want me to help you lie to your kids about pretty much anything, I'm down. But you have to ASK FIRST. And then offer me something. "Hey, Alex. Will you dress up as Big Foot and tell my son that if he doesn't clean his room you'll rip his arms off? I'll buy you pizza." Done! That's how the system should work. But I you can't just expect me to know that you told him about Big Foot's issue with messy bedrooms.