The box of four stemless wine glasses are a bargain at $6.99. They're an adequate replacement for the ones that got broken by a careless housemate, one by one, until only two of eight remain.
If only I could slip in them into the tiny cart, without the rebelangel spotting them.
The deal is, I buy myself presents to put under the tree on Christmas morning -- as if they came from Santa. The kiddo is convinced i've been a good girl this year, (though she says sadly that Daddy hasn't...) so it would be preposterous to imagine me not getting a present from the jolly old elf. This box of bargain stemless-ware is just right for the ruse -- but getting them into the cart is the tricky part. If i had a partner, they'd be the ones playing Santa for me, and vice versa. That's not the case now; though it's not the part of this little scene that gets me pontificating.
I spend a lot of time working on honesty and openness with my kid, yet here i am going so far as to buy presents for myself to maintain this myth of Santa. Why do we do this?
I've also spent a lot of time trying to deconstruct our holiday traditions -- trying to get past the consumerist angle of it all and honor the true spirit of these cultural celebrations. So how does Santa play into it?
He's a benevolent lover of children who spends all year crafting toys for them. He magically slips into the homes of every girl and boy on Christmas morning, that is, if they've been good while he's been watching. Seems sweet, but why does it feel just a bit wrong?
Last year i wrote about how great it was that Santa is around, because it helps keep my rebelangel in line. But this year, i'm starting to rethink that. Why should i let my daughter believe that someone other than me has to keep her in line? Or that someone other than me gives her gifts for the holiday? And if this season is all about "giving," why does she not have to give anything but cookies and milk in exchange for that pile of presents?
A blogger for the Vancouver Sun has been deconstructing our Santa ruse this week. He talks about how in other forms of magic or myth, children usually know they're pretending. With Santa, at some point they're aware of being duped all these years -- and that can be a tough pill to swallow.
But there's also the "spoiler" element to this whole thing. Who wants to be the parent of the kindergartener who spilled the beans to the rest of her class that Santa is a fake? And who wants to be the first to tell their kid that magic doesn't exist in the way they thought it did?
There's some powerful cultural pressure at work here, that's leading me to finger the wine glasses at TJ Maxx.
Sometimes, the most innocent and whimsical ideas take the most work to ponder. For now, i resolve to allow the ruse to continue. But if and when she asks whether Santa is real, i'm not going to lie.