The concept of Santa is really weird…
Firstly, we excitedly take our kids to the shops at Christmas time… for some weird out of this world reason, anyone knows that finding a park in the sun with kids in the car is actually some kind of torture.
We line up for like 70 hours and get into line wars with pushy women with some weird hell-bent desire to have their kids photo with an old man in it. The lines are insane, almost as insane as the line up out the front of that ‘Maxima’ makeup store at our local shops the other day… (Guys, the makeup will be there when you come here tomorrow too, yall don’t need to line up…come back tomorrow mate.) So will Santa.
The kids hate the lines and sometimes they hate Santa; they scream, they cry, the mums end up pulling what the fuck faces because bitches can’t stand in line right, some mum gets mad because of the cost of photos with Santa and storms out. Another mum is hell-bent on getting the photo so forces the 2-year-old to sit there and scream in fear while the poor assistants squeak as many toys at the kid as possible, potentially causing a sensory overload and a new long-term traumatic fear of fat men in red suits…
Finally, you get them somewhere in or around Santa, you might even get them to talk to him, they may even sit right on his lap…Your child might have just spent the time crying and rocking, or chatting away happily.
When they’re done you walk away thinking “pfft, Santa’s display was a little bit shit this year” while also thinking, “wow, that cost me my weeks worth of food shopping for a photo of a stranger and my kid crying, I could have taken the kid to a screening of ‘IT’ for the same response and price” or you walk away crying and bleeding because the mum in the line shanked you. Or maybe you walk away incredibly stoked?
LOL. No, you didn’t.
Let’s talk about how many parents force the Santa visit. I’ve seen it. I have seen it, in fact we can hear it. The parents laugh out loud awkwardly, knowing they’re selling their souls to hell while they watch their children cry because Santa is fucking scary but hey, the photo will be cute, cute and just what everyone wanted this year for christmas, another damn photo of Santa.
Why is this the time of year where we tell our kids to speak to a man, whos face you can not see and a face that they don’t know? Kids can even sit on his lap if they want to, or are forced to? I know, I know, they don’t have to, but a large majority of the kids I see walk up to santa caustiously, in fear, never in excitement, never in absolute awe of the whole experience.
Just, fear and uncertainty…
There’s kids out there that love it I am sure, but I have never seen them.
We wouldn’t walk into the food court, find a fat man looking rather jolly and tell your kid to go and sit on his lap, let the kid cry in fear and take some happy snaps for your frames at home.
I mean sure, if they really want to sit on Santa’s lap, go for it, by all means. I won’t judge you or your child for doing so. Or even if you felt the need to pop on over to the jolly fat guy in the food court and go take a seat, that is completely your decision assuming that no child is harmed in the process.
I find the whole notion of Santa kind of pointless and outdated.
A few years ago there was a Santa at our local shops that actually was accused of 5 counts of child sexual abuse while he sat there being a jolly old Santa, and while he was found “not guilty” of the charges, doesn’t it make you think?
Surely they must screen these men for the job?
Yes. They would, they do.
But the record only exisits if the person was caught and convicted. Meaning the man, that sexually abused me for 6 years as a girl, could just as easily be your childs local Santa, and you’d know none the wiser. That man, who lives only 20 minutes from my home, is walking around a free man. He has no charges against him and in turn means he could work with children, according to the laws it never happened to me and if he decided he wanted to be Santa, he could.
We spend so much time warning our kids about strangers (unnecessarily sometimes) until Christmas time comes and it becomes completely acceptable for kids to sit on random men in suits. We spend year after year taking the kids to see this “same” man every year, so much so that they get used to it and just go with it, but to them, they think they’re seeing the same man as last year, they’re probably not.
I get the symbolism of Christmas, I do. I love it, all of it.
I used to use Santa to bribe my little elves to sleep, to be good, and to stop shanking their siblings with Lego, and I will take my kids to see Santa if they want to but I won’t be allowing them to sit on Santa’s knee this year, or forcing them to talk to him or sit with him. Because we don’t know that man.
Call me overcautious but my kids are my kids, and it’s my job to keep them not only physically safe but also emotionally safe. They can still be completely absorbed in the Christmas spirit and experience without putting them into the arms of strangers whos faces they can’t even see.
All we are doing to the kids is conditioning them into being comfortable around a stranger dressed in familiar clothes, is that really the kind of power you want to give to an idea?
What is your Santa experience and preference, do you do the Santa thing?