Recently I was talking my some of my roommates about lying. I told them that lying was never okay for me, even to children about Santa Claus. (The wording in this dialog is slightly fictionalized, though the conversation was real.)
"Did you cry when you found out that Santa wasn't real?" one of my roommates retorted.
I laughed. "My parents were amazing enough to always tell us the truth, that there was no Santa," I replied
"You never believed in Santa? How could you have been a happy child?" the roommate replied .
"I was happy for other things," I said. "I just never had to go through the heartache of finding out that my parents had lied to me for years about something so trivial."
"In fact," I continued, "had I know that my parents had lied to me for most of my life would have made it really hard to trust them when I got older. Look at yourself for example."
My arguement was wasted. He was wrong and he knew it. So he went back to his earlier arguement. "At least I had a happy childhood."
"You mean you were happy knowing that your parents didn't love you enough to get you presents and instead you had to get them from some strange old man whom you never met," I asked incredulously. "That is happiness?"
He started to panic, "the magic of Santa made me happy."
"The magic of creating and inventing made me happy," I said laughing.
Now whenever he is losing an argument he simply states, "You never believed in Santa" as if my argument is somehow invalidated by that simple fact.
He could never explain why it was okay to lie, about trivial Santa of all things but somehow feels that not having spent my early childhood delude by lying parents make me deprived of childhood joy. If childhood joy involves believing that my parents didn't really love me, that some old creepy man was allowed to break into our house and give me presents, then going through the heartache of finding out that the old fat magic man doesn't exist and realizing that your parents, who should have been teaching your who life to not lie, how been lying horribly to you and thought it was acceptable, cute or even adorable, and maybe worst of all, your life has been so wrapped up in believing in something that was not true that you now suffer from underdeveloped creative processing. If not having these are deprivation, then yes I was deprived. I was also deprived of being homeless as a child, but I'm fine that deprivation.
Come to think of it, I was also deprived of being spoiled, but he hasn't grownup enough to realize that.