Perpetrating the Christmas Lie

happy-christmas-2016This Christmas Eve I stayed awake all night. Like every year, I waited for the arrival of Santa, but this year nobody came. Surely I have been naughty, but not more than yesteryear of the year before… There must be another reason. Maybe the gatekeepers of truth decided to flag Santa as fake news, and he has been removed from my timeline…

A bit awkwardly, the year of post-truth someone has realised that the mother of all lies is the myth of Santa Claus, a collective lie on a global scale. In a delicious essay(1), “A Wonderful Lie”, Christopher Boyle and Kathy McKay reflect on what adult people get out of it:

By perpetrating the Christmas lie, one believes in the possibility of a better place and time.

Like the navel, Santa would be a scar on our collective memory which connect us back to a time when we believed that magic was indeed possible.

Happy fake beliefs!


(1) Boyle, Christopher, and Kathy McKay. ‘A Wonderful Lie’. The Lancet Psychiatry 3, no. 12 (1 December 2016): 1110–11. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30363-7.

One comment

  1. A collective lie or a game from adults to children?

    I keep hearing cynical postures about this and other children illusions that never as far as I can see ever created any kind of trauma to anyone

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