The Holiday Lies We Tell Our Children

How to have mindful conversations with our kids about the holiday stories we tell and why we tell them.

leno2010/Adobe Stock

A few weeks ago, my six-year-old, Opal, lost her first tooth in the parking lot of gymnastics. It was a tiny little pearl, speckled with blood and clutched like a precious jewel in her hand. When she opened her mouth, there was a wee hole in the front gums where the tooth came from, like soil for the smallest harvested vegetable.

The first thing out of her mouth was, “Who will tell the tooth fairy??” Her excitement was mixed with concern over whether or not she could count on having the same experience with the tooth fairy that her friends had described. Then came the interrogation: “How will it get to my tooth if it’s under my pillow? Will it lift my head up?”

I told her it would be easier for the tooth fairy if she left her tooth on the bedside table.

“But still, how will a fairy get into my room in the first place? And if it has a way to get in, why doesn’t it come in all the time?”

I assured her it wouldn’t do that. Besides, it’s just so dang busy collecting other kids’ teeth—billions of them. So busy.

She didn’t let up.