Do you know that Santa is not real?
Of course, you do. No, not the spirit, but the actual person. Everyone over the age of about 8 knows.
But a pox upon your house if your newspaper or TV station suggests it, even inadvertently. And it seems to make its way into the paper, at least, somewhere every year.
Last year, the News & Record published stories from readers about their favorite memories of Christmas. Several of them alluded to finding out that Santa didn’t exist or that parents actually brought the gifts. We printed them but not without serious discussion. Tell readers at Christmas time that Santa may not be real? Are you nuts?
I received letters from people who didn’t believe in that sort of truth telling, that some beliefs shouldn’t be shattered by the grinch at the newspaper. I agreed with them. Some myths are sacred, particularly the ones that everyone knows is a myth that gives children joy. Why, papers print horoscopes every day and you know they’re bunk, right?
I did appreciate the readers who said they had to hide the newspaper less their 7-year-old read that story and discovered Santa’s true existence. I always said, “Yourchild reads the paper? Thank you, thank you, thank you!”