As of last Friday, I’ve been back home from school. As a result, I’ve been able to see my family again…back in its element.

It’s been fun. Until I’ve come across the lies.

Today, let me tell you a story about how our family has been ensnared by lies as a result of forbidden fruit:

the Apple iPad

You see, by the time I got back, my father was toting around a svelte new iPad.

I was surprised. My dad was always the kind of person, growing up, who would say, “I don’t want to buy Apple. Its products are too expensive and they don’t have compatibility with all my Windows stuff.” But then again, that had changed over time to: “I wouldn’t mind buying something from Apple, just it’s too expensive.” And his protests against the iPhone became protests against AT&T: “The iPhone does look nice…but we can never go back to AT&T.”

A few years back, my brother got a MacBook Pro for Christmas. My mom made sure to never let my dad see the price tag (even after discount), but both of them had to admit that it was pretty cool (especially since yes, it can run Windows and “Windows stuff.”)

When my mom — who has no such reservations against cost — bought an iPod Touch, my dad quickly realized that his Zune 8 would not compare.

So, when my dad got an iPod Touch, I knew it was over. The family would slowly succumb to more and more Apple products. What would be next? a Mac Mini? An AppleTV? One of these inexpensive functional things, surely.

…but an iPad? For my dad?

Even when I was at school, my mom also wanted me to research various tablets with Google Android on them. Most of them were not that good, but she wanted to buy on the cheap. At some point I asked her why she was doing her research.

“Your sister wants a tablet for Christmas.”

Um, pardon my rudeness, mom. A pre-teen girl does not need a tablet!

(Then again, my sister had unlimited texting before I did.)

We researched a product that we thought would be affordable, yet worthwhile, and then ordered for expedited shipping (because we couldn’t get a guarantee that it would get in time by standard mail.) It came in less than a week (of course), and my mother leased some space in her closet to Santa so that he wouldn’t have to make an express delivery on Christmas. (As my mother told us from an early age: Santa doesn’t fly to Texas…it’s too warm. Well, apparently, Santa doesn’t fly to Oklahoma if he doesn’t want to either. He rents closet space from the parents of children in advance and has very modern supply chain agreements with UPS and FedEx.)

…my sister doesn’t know she’s going to get a tablet. We told her to get silly ideas out of her head and think of different things to ask for from Santa…

She’s been sensitive on the issue ever sense.

So how was I to know how she would react to finding out that my dad had an iPad?

I couldn’t have anticipated the way it turned out. Because I thought my father, as an adult, had bought the iPad for himself. Because adults can do that.

Wrong.

One day, my sister saw my dad using his iPad. She didn’t have anything to say to him, but later, when my mom got back from work, she confronted her:

“Why does dad get to have his iPad before Christmas?!”

My mom confided to me later that she thought the jig was up, that the house of lies regarding Christmas itself was about to topple.

But that was not to be. My mom measuredly replied, “…don’t you know that daddy has to work on Christmas day? And isn’t that just so sad?”

My sister: “Yeah. I can see why Santa would let him have his present early then.”

Bullet dodged.

On the one hand, this save seems innovative and creative. It brings a smile to my face.

On the other hand, I wonder: when will the Christmas Lies end?

Is this the beginning of all folk doctrine? Will my sister “grow up” believing that Christmas rules can be so violated by a weekend work schedule as I “grew up” knowing that duh, Santa just doesn’t go to Texas; it’s too hot? Why couldn’t he have opened on Christmas Eve then?? What are some idiosyncratic ideas you or your family has about the holiday season (or about anything else) whose origin you can remember?