Comes a time in every parent’s life when he or she faces the sad truth: the kids grow up. For some, it’s when they put away their binkies. For others, it’s when they no longer need their beloved security blanket. This time of year, many parents feel a twinge of regret when their children admit that they question the existence of Santa Claus. (To those parents, may I suggest reading this. It still gets me, every time.) Me, I feel a bit of a pang when I take the kids to the local mall to sit on Santa’s lap. Not because I’m worried that they don’t believe in him anymore – although I think this is probably the last year my 7-year-old will blindly accept the fact that one guy in a flying sleigh can deliver presents to an estimated 526,000,000 kids in one night. No, I’m wistful because those days when I giddily anticipated the darkly hilarious photos of my terrified children struggling to escape the clutches of a frightening beard stranger are over. And because I know that those days are gone, I make the extra effort, every Christmas, to share my two favorite Bad Santa photos with not only my friends and family, but the entire Internet.
Wanna see ’em? Of course you do. And not to brag, but I guarantee you that the second pic – my son’s first encounter with a faux Kris Kringle – is one of the best Worst Santa photos you’ll ever see. Here’s the first, in which my daughter wanted nothing to do with the whole thing, and my son shot her that “you’re gonna screw this up for both of us” look:
And now, the piece de resistance:
So much going on here: the lazy-eyed Santa, my terrified kid clutching his Thomas The Tank Engine like Professor Van Helsing might clutch a crucifix. I do feel bad for mall Santas, because what a thankless job – to his credit, this guy was very friendly and understanding. Unfortunately, since I’m an employee I can’t enter Babble’s Bad Santa Photo Contest (I like to think I’d have a pretty good shot at winning), but if you’re not above exploiting your child’s fear and loathing of Santa for a chance at winning great prizes, by all means, go for it. It’s not like these pictures will be on the Internet forever, right?