I posted this at Open Salon today.
When my son Ben was a toddler, there wasn’t much that his father and I agreed upon, but Santa was one of those things that I was willing to be non-partisan about. While there were never packages under the tree from Mr. Claus, I never told him that there wasn’t a Santa. None of the presents listed a ‘From’; they just were ‘To’.
This scheme worked fine until Ben was in Kindergarten. Although he went to a secular school — one that went to extremes not to mention Christmas or any religious traditions — he still found out about Jolly Ol’ St. Nick. One early December day, he came home from a visit with his father in tears. “Daddy says that Santa Claus is just some old guy in a cheap suit!”