I’m all for a big fat dude to drop off a boat sleigh load of gifts to my house for my kids to appreciate and love for the following 364 days. But the problem is he doesn’t flip the bill, and Santa doesn’t live with my kids 24/7 to know exactly what would make them happy. I do. And I’m also the one that shops and wraps every. single. gift. Every time my 3 year old son runs around on his little red Radio Flyer tricycle giggling ‘thank you Santa’ I want to visit the mall and pinch the poor retired man with the white beard taking pictures with fake snow all around. Now, it is a parent’s fate in life not to get the credit they deserve, but I’m seriously rethinking this whole Santa thing in our house. My husband and I busted our *ass* this year not only shopping, but picking up extra projects when we could so we could offset the holiday with some extra cash. You know, for the Harry Potter Lego set our daughter nearly actually passed out when she opened (credit for that one is all my husband).
Now our 9 year old daughter understands about Santa, yet still runs around the house excited he’s coming and frets over which kind and how many cookies to leave him. Fear of waking up to a bare spot under the artificial tree? Maybe. With her it’s more likely she’s still very much in love with the nostalgia of Santa. On the other hand, our 3 year old son was blocking the opening of the fireplace to keep the fat guy out. That was *before* waking up to finding every-toy-he-ever-thought-existed-in-the-universe-plus-a-bike under the tree. Never mind every stinkin’ tag said FROM MOMMY & DADDY. Kid can’t read. As far as he knows that creepy guy wearing a Halloween / Santa Claus costume at his preschool for pictures was now a certified hero.
With all this said, our kids made out well for the holiday, but they (well the older kid anyhow) also have a very strong sense of empathy and understanding that not all kids live like they do or have parents like they do. I absolutely cannot stand to have *MY CHILDREN* grow up to be greedy little gremlins that only think of themselves and turn their heads to situations that feel beneath them. I grew up being on the receiving end of a lot of that – especially at Christmas. I didn’t grow up in the wealthiest of towns, but I very distinctly remember everyone else having enough and us, well, not so much. No matter. My kids are probably way better than their kids are now anyhow <smirk>.
What’s a parent to do? Hopefully we will get credit for their first car, college education and hand-me-down furniture for their first apartment. Otherwise I’m going to have to have a very public smack down with the Big Red Dude in the mall to get some of my street cred back.