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I Lied to Santa Claus!

Would I still get a Barbie Fashion Plaza?

By Rebecca MortonPublished 6 months ago 4 min read
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I Lied to Santa Claus!
Photo by May Gauthier on Unsplash

It wasn’t like me at all. To lie to anyone was not in my nature, or so I thought.

By age seven, I had already established myself as a confirmed goodie two-shoes. Kids in my class at school called me “Smarty Pants”, because I got the answers right and raised my hand a lot.

If I had been a character in the movie, A Christmas Story, I would have been the little girl who points at the classroom window to show the teacher that Flick is outside with his tongue stuck to a frozen pole.

Like Ralphie in that movie, I was beginning to have my doubts about the whole Santa Claus thing, but mostly about the logistics. I doubted Santa could go all around the world in one night or if he could see us when we were asleep and awake. I thought he must have a staff who help him with the travel, toy delivery, and keeping track of children’s behavior.

I already knew that the Santa at the shopping center was not THE Santa Claus, but one of his many “helpers” who took toy orders from the good little girls and boys. I was definitely good, so I never thought I would risk ending up on Santa’s “Naughty List”.

Little did I know that soon all my ideas about myself and where I fit on Santa’s list would be called into question. It all began with my annual visit with Santa at my local shopping center.

As I waited in line that frosty 1970s Milwaukee evening with my Dad and younger sister, I tried to stay focused on the BIG ANSWER to the BIG QUESTION:

“What would you like for Christmas this year?”

I would reply, loudly and clearly, “A Barbie Fashion Plaza”. Santa would know I meant the new bi-level Barbie Doll-sized department store with bridal shop and escalator that you put Barbie’s foot into and pull her up with a string.

It was state-of-the-art, cutting edge Barbie technology!!!

When I tried to describe it to my parents, they did not seem to understand what this magnificent toy was, but that was OK. Santa would know.

When my turn to approach THE LAP came, I was more than ready. I took my place and looked right at the big guy. I waited for the BIG QUESTION….

“Have you been eating your green vegetables?”

WHAT?????

WHY WOULD HE ASK ME THAT?

I thought of all the times I stared at my green beans and peas. My parents eventually gave up and put their faith in Flintstone Vitamins to fill in any nutritional gaps in my diet.

I guess this proved there was no one at The North Pole magically watching me every day, because if anyone was, Santa would not be asking me about my daily diet.

Mentally grappling with this revelation made me forget about the Barbie Fashion Plaza, but only for a second. Meanwhile, Santa waited for my answer to the green vegetable question.

“Yes,” I replied.

Wow. I couldn’t believe myself. I had just told a bold faced lie to Santa Claus!

Would he know?

“That’s good.,” Santa said. “What would you like for Christmas?”

“A Barbie Fashion Plaza.”

“Oh, fine. Here’s a new coloring book, and if you go over to that elf over there, she will give you a gingerbread cookie. Merry Christmas!”

It was over. I had the coloring book in my hand and was heading to the cookie elf. Everything was becoming a blur as I walked to my family.

My dad asked me how it went.

“I lied to Santa Claus.”

“What?”

“He asked me if I was eating my green vegetables, and I said, ‘yes”!

My dad chuckled and said I shouldn’t worry about it.

Hm. Should I not worry about telling the lie, or about whether or not I actually fooled Santa, or the fact that I don’t eat healthy vegetables, which, according to Santa, are the green ones?

Should I not worry about any of it?

That Christmas morning, the Barbie Fashion Plaza was under the tree. Santa’s helper had either been fooled, or decided not to tell the real Santa Claus about my deception.

Or Santa Claus was very forgiving of a picky eater who lies.

I wanted to believe Santa Claus was forgiving, but that would mean he knew I was lying, which was disturbing in its own way.

Maybe Santa’s Helper’s question didn’t mean my presents depended on my eating green vegetables!

Maybe he was just making chit chat, and I didn’t have to lie at all!

The fact that I thought my present was conditional on how I talked to Santa says a lot about my childhood mindset, and certainly my upbringing. But I’ll ponder that another day.

That Christmas morning, I watched as my dad, lying on the living room floor by the tree, put my Barbie Fashion Plaza together. He often sighed and complained that certain plastic pieces weren’t fitting nicely into other plastic pieces.

The silver sticker that was the full-length Barbie mirror was to be forever crooked on the upper level wall, causing my Barbies to have to lean sideways to look at themselves, but I didn’t care.

The escalator worked! Thank you, Dad!

And thank you, Santa Claus!

____________________________________________________This story was originally published on Medium.com.

FamilyChildhood
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About the Creator

Rebecca Morton

My childhood was surrounded by theatre people. My adulthood has been surrounded by children! You can also find me on Medium here: https://medium.com/@becklesjm, and now I have a Substack newsletter at https://rebeccamorton.substack.com/

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