Oh Santa, you jolly representation of Christmas spirit, you. As much as I love the joy you provide my kids, it’s times like these (T-minus 5 days, folks) that I begin to wonder why my family ever decided to play into your special brand of parental torture.
I mean, I guess I know why we played in we had to. Santa, you’re everywhere and there’s simply no escaping your dimples so merry, cheeks just like roses, a nose like a cherry – and don’t even get me started on your little round belly that shakes when you laugh like a bowl full of jelly.
My kids never stood a chance, and as parents, we didn’t have a choice. But of course, none of this would have been so bad, Santa, had you been mythicized in a practical sense.
Like, say you brought each good girl and boy a single toy worth $25 or less and never visited the mall or expected special cookies. Ooo, and if you filled stockings with stuff like toothbrushes, chewable vitamins, and the occasional vegetable, that could have been really great too.
I suspect modest and sensible treats could’ve felt pretty magical had everyone put on their thinking cap way back when, but nooooooooooo. Time, tradition, commercialism, and competitive parenting have managed to transform Santa into the embodiment of material generosity on the parents’ dime.
Yes, I sound bitter. Crabby even. But I’m tired, Santa, and at this point we’re all on borrowed Christmas time.
I took to the blog to rant because I would never (and could never) say as much to my kids, but at this very moment there are things I wish my kids knew about you, Santa:
1. I am Santa. Yes, I know they’ll discover this truth in time, but dude. Playing Santa is fun for the five minutes it takes to watch my kids rip open their toys on Christmas morning, but all the prep work before that – the long lines, angry shoppers, hunts for elusive “season’s hottest” toys, and looming credit card statement…not so fun, Santy. Not. so. fun.
2. Santa isn’t magical. I know this because #1. And if I was magical, I’d be done shopping by now. Santa, unlike you, I don’t have unlimited funds, gaggles of elves, or an understanding wife. I have a budget, a job, kids, laundry, Christmas lights to untangle, and meals to prepare. Merry Christmas.
3. Santa expects too much. Well, I’m not really sure if Santa expects cookies, lists, visits, and general hero worship, but our culture has made all of these things part of the overall Santa experience. Yay, more to do.
4. Santa takes away from the real meaning of Christmas. There, I said it. Take to the comments below if you must, but hear me out. While the idea of Santa surely adds holiday cheer and childlike wonder to the Christmas season, the gifts Santa brings tend to get all the attention. Last I checked, X-boxes and Legos were not the reason for the season, but what do I know.
5. Santa doesn’t really have a naughty list. Have you ever heard of a kid – any kid, even the naughtiest of kids – ending up with a stocking of coal on Christmas morning? The answer is no, because no parent wants coal to be the reason their kid winds up in therapy. If my kids are going to find themselves in therapy, it’s going to be for a way better – err, worse – reason than coal.
6. Santa’s kind of creepy. We warn our kids about stranger danger, yet it’s totally cool for Santa to disturb our kids all year long and creep into our house while everyone’s sleeping because he’s going to, you know, leave toys and stuff. Oh, but that’s right, Santa’s not a stranger. Your kid sat on his lap at the mall that one time.