Doubt creeps under the Christmas tree

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 25, 2012

The last few weeks, my oldest daughter Casey, who is 8, has been asking about the legitimacy of Santa Clause. She pleas for the truth, as my wife, Amy, and I look into her eyes muttering lame statements such as, “If you don’t believe, you won’t receive.”

Spring 2012 904

Photo: Casey back when she believed in the Easter bunny.

The other night she told Amy, “Mom, I really need to know. I’m not a kid anymore; you can’t believe in fairy tales forever.” Last I checked, 8 years-old is still a kid. Besides, the magic of Santa and believing in something fun doesn’t have to have expiration date.

Of course believing in Santa is not the same as having religious faith. For Casey, she is a firm believer in Jesus. And she is quick to note she believes, even though she’s never seen Him at the mall.

Casey said she knows Santa isn’t real, “[Because] Dad keeps getting confused as to the presents you guys bought me and what presents Santa brought me.”

What can I say? I’ve got a bad memory.

Casey also boldly told us the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny aren’t for real. When we asked how she knew that, she said, “Mom, fairies don’t type notes to kids.”

As for the Easter bunny, she’s been paying attention, telling me, “Dad, we weirdly always take two cars to Easter service and then you always leave church 15 minutes early. You say you have to go get ice at Publix. But you go home and hide the eggs and wait for us at the cul-de-sac until we come home. Then you show up without ice and get us to notice all the eggs in the yard. And when I ask you, ‘Where is the ice?’ you always have an excuse about the store running out of ice. Dad, stores don’t run out of ice.”


Then there’s Eddie. We have this book called “The Elf on the Shelf” that came with a 12-inch elf that the girls named Eddie. He comes on Dec. 1 and makes his presence known in our house by parking himself on shelves, on the Christmas tree, hanging from the cord of a ceiling fan, and various other hiding places. He hides in a different place each night, and no one is allowed to touch him. The kids excitedly look for him every morning — at least our 6-year-old twins, Mia and Jordyn, do. Casey has decided Eddie isn’t real. “Mom,” she said,

(Click here to read the rest of the column in The Tampa Tribune).

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Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him

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3 Responses to “Doubt creeps under the Christmas tree”

  1. JB Says:

    Great column. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Chuck Says:

    Well, I must be a pretty good dad. I raised my daughter Christian. She received Christ at 8 and passionately loves and serves Him today. But, she also believed in Santa until I decided I was sick of him getting all the credit for stuff purchased with my hard earned money. She was 10 by then, and after a moment of deep thought and a little disappointment, was okay with it and loved me all the more for all the cool stuff she’s got. I always had a good, plausible answer for the tough, unexpected questions.


  3. MS Says:

    Hi Chris~

    I read your editorial today and it reminded me about the time when I found out there was no Santa Claus. I felt I’d been lied to by my parents and the butt of a joke that revealed how stupid I was to believe something that was so silly. It made me wonder if they had lied to me about God as well. I think it is sad when children feel they must continue to pretend to believe in Santa or they will not receive any gifts at Christmas.

    My husband insisted we do the Santa thing with our children but I avoided talking much about Santa and emphasized the Nativity story instead. I am following a blog written by a mother who home schools her seven children and I like the way they celebrate Christmas. They do not do Santa but give each of their children three gifts on Christmas Day because Jesus received three gifts. When the children ask about Santa Claus they are told that Santa is a fairy tale based on a real person- St. Nicolas. They read stories about Saint Nicholas and even celebrate St. Nicholas Day by leaving out their shoes which are filled with candy- candy canes that symbolize a bishop’s staff and chocolate coins which symbolize the gold he gave to the poor. Sometimes the children might also get new slippers, new snow boats or books on this festive day. If I could do a redo of my parenting years this is how I would celebrate Christmas with my children.

    I think it is better for children to appreciate the fact that their gifts come from their parents, not some magical Santa. I’m afraid Santa is often presented as some kind of deity. Congratulations on having a serious, thoughtful, precious daughter like Casey.


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