santa claus, the tooth fairy and the chippendales

the truth is, one of my biggest pet peeves on this earth is… [insert drum roll here]
skirting around the issue. 
beating around the bush.
fudging the details.
liar liar pants on fire.
yep. all of the above.
growing up, my parents were always honest with me and taught me the value of honesty.
they trusted me and i knew that trust was a gift. so thankful.
when i was around 9 years old, i stole a piece of gum from the local market.
my mom knew it. i tried to hide it with a lie. 
but there was no denying. i was caught blowing a bubble.
i felt remorse for my actions. 
sure. it wasn’t that big of a deal to take a 5 cent piece of gum… or was it?
it was about more than simply obeying the 9th commandment. 
for me, that *sweet pink sugary bubble gum* was a game changer.
fast forward 18 years and P.A. and i became parents for the first time.
we had always valued honesty as individuals and in our marriage… but now…
as parents, we were suddenly thrown into the tempting world of ‘lying to our children’.

‘when does santa claus come to town?’
‘how much money will the tooth fairy bring me?’
‘do cats go to heaven?’
‘mommy, what are chippendales?’ 

suddenly opportunities to lie abound around every corner. 
at what age do we tell our kids ‘santa claus’ doesn’t exist?
how many lose teeth go under the pillow before they figure out the ‘tooth fairy’ is really dad?
what do we say after the cat died during thanksgiving break?…and how do we explain what a ‘chippendale’ is?
last thanksgiving, we went out of town to visit my family in Oklahoma. we left our cat *clancy marie* at home, and a friend came over to check on her. clancy was an older cat. we had thought about ‘what if she dies while we’re gone?’ sure enough, she did. 
when we came home, we found her. it was late. the kids were tired and ready to come inside the house. after all, we had just returned from a 16 hour road trip.
what better time to break the bad news?!
we wasted no time.
‘sorry kids, clancy has died.’
simple. short. to the point.
we said good-bye and daddy buried our sweet clancy marie.
then we came inside and talked thru how everyone was feeling as we prepared for bed that night.
you might have guessed- our kids know that santa claus and the tooth fairy aren’t real. and now they know what chippendales are.

we love the show Amazing Race. we watch it as a family on Sunday nights. this season there is a team of friends who are chippendales. we knew the question would come- ‘mommy, what are chippendales?’

the truth is…
you’re never too young to know the truth.
in fact, if we are grounded in truth as kids, we will grow up with a stronger foundation of truth.
it’s not just about being a ‘moral person’ or checking the 9th commandment off your list of things to do.
it’s about developing a lifestyle of truth.
it’s the need for an epidemic of honesty to break out. and break all the lies we believe.
it’s about raging against a culture of facades.
television, movies, books, magazines, facebook – they are all stories. some true, but most false.
most are a perception of truth over shadowed by a curtain of fluff.

it is what it is. and 

if it’s not true, it is false.

above all, we want our lives to be rooted in truth. God’s truth.
and we desire to instill the value of honesty in our kids.
the truth can hurt. but the lies {even the little ones, meant to do no harm} can hurt more.
lying can breed sin.

‘Gah! are you saying that telling our kids that santa and his elves bring gifts to good boys and girls is a sin?’
no. but start with the little things.
‘sorry kids, life isn’t fair.’
‘sorry kids, i don’t know the answer.’ 
as parents, there is a freedom in telling our kids we don’t know everything.
but we do know santa isn’t real.
sorry kids. he’s not the reason for this season.
‘Gah! well, now you’re just ripping away imagination and fun from their childhood and Christmas!’
no. we’re teaching them the truth. 
don’t worry, our kids still have plenty of creativity and imagination. 
and it’s rooted in truth.
start young. share truth. break lies.
life is a gift santa claus can’t give.
Jesus is the only life giver. Jesus is truth.
He is the greatest gift we could ever receive.
the way. the truth. the life.

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