Tuesday, December 21, 2010

That Creepy Old Man in a Red Suit Who Doesn't Even Sparkle

I have issues with Santa Claus.  Now, please, I don't want to be tarred and feathered--or perhaps carameled and tinseled?  My rationale is perfectly sound and multi-part.

First, adults spend a lot of time and money putting together Christmas for their children.  Braving the crowds, waiting in lines, finding and then returning and then re-finding the perfect gift (when your kids KEEP CHANGING THEIR MINDS NO YOU CANNOT DECIDE YOU WANT SOMETHING ELSE THE CUTOFF WAS DECEMBER TENTH SO YOU CAN JUST DEAL WITH IT) (ahem).  No matter what budget you set there's always one more thing that needs to happen (candy for the stocking! the last minute idea you had that really would make everything perfect! ornament craft kits because it will not stop freaking raining and everyone is home from school and you can't go anywhere and oh my gosh we are all going to go insane HERE MAKE AN ORNAMENT KIDS), and those one-more-things always cost money.

Now, I'm not complaining.  I love Christmas shopping, and finding just the right thing, knowing my kids are going to have that one magical day where they are ridiculously spoiled but it's okay because amidst this pile of Transformers and Pokemon and Pillow Pets we're thinking about Jesus (okay, yeah, that part maybe doesn't work so well, either, but we do try).  I think it's fun.

So why, after all of my time and thought and effort and money, should some anonymous old man in a red suit get all of the credit?


We do things a little differently around here.  My kids love the idea of Santa Claus, and write heart-breakingly adorable letters to him.  And Santa Claus reads those letters and brings them one--ONE--present they asked for.  I'm okay with a little magic.  But the rest?  That's from Daddy and me.  Because a little magic goes a long way, but knowing who really loves you (hint: It is not a man who rides around the sky on reindeer one night a year and then disappears the rest of the year) is its own kind of magic.

My second quarrel is this: Santa Claus as a dirty old creeper.  And I'm going to apologize right now, but seriously?  Hey, kids, go sit on that strange man's lap and tell him secrets!  And then he's going to come in the middle of the night and sneak around our house!  But in the meantime, HE IS ALWAYS WATCHING YOU SO YOU BETTER BE GOOD.

Now, if Santa Claus were eternally youthful and sparkled like diamonds in the sunlight, maybe that would be sexy and spawn a series of mega bestselling novels.  But he doesn't even have bronze colored hair.

I may, however, be a little warped because when I was little Santa Claus would always load our stockings with (in addition to treats and small presents) underwear.

That's right: Santa Claus gave us underwear.

I don't know how or why this started.  Granted, with four girls right in a row most of the bums were around the same size, and it was probably easy to just grab a few packs of underwear to be split among them while out shopping anyway, but seriously: Santa Claus gave us underwear.  (And he didn't even give us our own packs--no, he opened them and divided the pairs among the stockings.  Except in my only brother's case.  He always got his own.  Total favoritism.)

It wasn't until we were older that it hit us how strange that was, but at that point we all knew the truth (which is that Santa Claus is not an eternally beautiful vampire, of course) and it was more a joke than anything.  But still.  Underwear.  Weird, right?  (Sorry, Mom and Dad.  IT'S WEIRD.)

Finally, I hate the whole Big Brother aspect of it, and the notion that kids should only be good because they are being watched and it will earn them presents.  Shouldn't they try to be good anyway, without the promise of rewards or the threat of disappointment?  (Which, let's face it, young parents in that restaurant: are you REALLY not going to give your two-year-old any presents if he doesn't sit down and eat right now? Really?  Because I don't think that's a threat you're willing to follow through on.)  I don't know about you or your kids, but mine always tend to get stressed out.  Last year by Christmas Eve my son was screaming, "I DON'T WANT CHRISTMAS.  I WANT CHRISTMAS TO BE OVER."  After a month solid of anticipation, it all just melts into stress and anxiety.  And being told you have to be good?  That kind of makes me want to go in the opposite direction.  You're watching me all the time?  WELL WATCH THIS!  (No, I have no idea where my son got his contrary nature from.)

So, to sum up: I hate giving credit to an imaginary person who has characteristics that are either vaguely creepy or seriously romantic depending on your feelings about vampires/old men.  I also worry that when magic turns into blackmail it tends to lose its wonder.  If you want Santa to be a part of childhood, let Santa be a mythical figure that represents the good and fun and joy of this time of year--but don't let him be the entirety of Christmas.

And for heaven's sake, don't let him give your children underwear.

Run! RUN!
(Also, Merry Christmas!)


Kiersten White said...

Guys, also, please don't worry about the fact that I'll definitely be on the naughty list after this post. I buy my own underwear now, so I'm all set.

Alicia Gregoire said...

This is a great post and I agree with you 100%. (Of course, Santa died in my house once I hit 5 and realized that he bought gifts at the flea market.)

Renee Collins said...

Hey, at least Krampus* doesn't still come along with Santa. Our kids should count themselves lucky. . .

(*google it. Trust me.)

Annie said...

Confession: I had issues with food as a kid. Too much flavor? Out. Weird texture combo? OUT. So, one morning, when I was four or five, I was faced with the textural weirdness that is oatmeal. I pitched a fit. The world wasn't big enough for the two of us-IT WAS ME OR THE OATMEAL. My mom tried to reason with me, but ultimately, reason failed. I stared down at the oatmeal bowl with my arms folded, refusing to eat a single bite.

Until my dad picked up the phone and started dialing.

"Hello, Santa?"

My eyes went wide, I grabbed the spoon and started shoveling the thick, gooey (and by that point, cold) oatmeal down my throat. I gagged, it was so disgusting, but DANG IT I WAS NOT GOING TO MISS OUT ON CHRISTMAS OVER A STUPID BOWL OF OATMEAL.

Despite the fact that my Dad's methods were effective, I think I'm with you. I don't think pulling the Santa card is the best way to help a kid make good choices.

Also? I still kinda hate oatmeal.

Kiersten White said...

Dude, I know all about Krampus. He'd totally hit my house this year.

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

My mom still labels presents as being 'From Santa' which I don't understand because I'm 22, my older bro is 25, and my two younger bros are 16 and 14. I think she's trying to hold onto that magic for us, but once I found out THE TRUTH, it kind of destroyed the magic that Santa is supposed to represent.

Now, years later, I can only look back and think how great my parents are, but how much of a true-blue creeper Santa really is. The entire idea is beyond weird when you think about it. All of this reminds me of an episode of Buffy where Anya says that the mythology behind Santa really involved a man creeping into homes to kill little children. So now when I think of Santa, I think jolly fat guy in a red suit, but also about a creepy old man who wants to off people.

Happy holidays!!

Annie said...

p.s. Renee-There go my plans for an Austrian Christmas. *jibblies!*

Elissa J. Hoole said...

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but Santa brings underwear to my kids, too, in their stockings. This year a package of transformers for the elder and spiderman for the younger.

My issue with Santa is I'm a horribly awkward liar when it comes to my kids. And El keeps asking me question after question, and I'm kind of like...um, just stop asking now, okay? But yeah, at our house he only gets credit for the stockings, and everything else is all Mom and Dad. I mean, really.

Sarah said...

Here's my Santa issue (keep in mind, I don't have kids, so maybe I know nothing):

I don't want to teach my kids that they will always grow out of things they believe in.

Now, I believed in Santa, and I think I turned out fine. So, what do I know?

Daisy Whitney said...

Couldn't agree more. Our kids get 1-2 Santa gifts and the rest from us! BC we bought em anyway! And thank the lord, this year our son knows we are Santa and it makes my life so much easier!!!

careohlion said...

Hahaha I love this post. Excellent!! Santa brought me underwear a few times, and my parents always got us one gift and the rest were from Santa. I find that weird now, but eh.

Leigh said...

I am not anti-Santa, but DH and I have had this discussion. He wants the BIG gifts to be from us, and I don't mind them coming from Santa. BUT, funny story, I interviewed a "Santa" for a family magazine and he said that he gives kids underwear instead of coal. He was joking (& I didn't put it in the article), but now it's absolutely hysterical and I wish I had. ;)

stonehocker said...

Kiersten I totally agree about the whole Santa thing. Santa only brings 1 present and Mom and Dad get the credit for everything else! Also Meagan told Lizzy that Santa was coming to check her room to see if it was clean and Lizzy started crying and said, "I don't want Santa watching me!" Which I totally understand. So no more Santa threats. Just the real ones, like Time Out!

Marisa Hopkins said...

Haha, very funny. He kinda is an old creeper, isn't he? Whatever, I still love him.

Growing up, Santa gave all the BEST and biggest presents, so I have much love for the red-suited guy. In fact, I never let on that I knew it was really all my mom, and when I was seventeen she finally had 'the Santa talk' with me. Um... I knew it was her. Really. But I was still getting presents from Santa, so I was happy to pretend :)

I miss Santa's presents. Growing up isn't fun at all.

lora96 said...

I read my class The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus by Ogden Nash every year. Also, you MUST check out Merry UNChristmas, the single most funny picturebook about the season. :)

aLmYbNeNr said...

Love Love LOVE this post!

Angela Felsted said...

What a funny post. No one would mistake you for a vampire lover after reading Paranormalcy.

The stores just love Santa because he's a non-religious merchandise pusher. And the TV and movie industry loves Santa because he gives them another "_____ saves Christmas show" every year. Insert corny kid's character in the blank: Diego, Dora, Handy Many, Hannah Montana.

You gotta love marketing.

strugglingwriter said...

"So why, after all of my time and thought and effort and money, should some anonymous old man in a red suit get all of the credit"

My wife gives Santa all of the credit even though she said as much as you said above.

Perhaps I'll suggest next year that Santa gets the credit for a couple and we get the glory for the rest.

Great post.


Brandi Guthrie-Sellers said...

LOL. So funny.

Goes right in line with Santa Claus feeling me up when I was fourteen and then telling me he'd be dreaming about me that night. Gross!

Megs said...

Ha ha, LOVE this post. I totally agree with you. My kids are going to get their one present from santa, and then try to appreciate (I say try because, honestly, you don't get it until you are doing it...) and give thanks for everything else. ;) (Not that the thanks is why I do it or anything; it'd just be nice.)

Emily White said...

Thank you! I've always wondered why parents would want to teach their children that a complete stranger breaks into their house, can read their minds, and you don't even know he was there. Completely. Freaky.

I didn't believe in Santa when I was little and I don't plan on teaching my children he's real. They'll learn about St. Nickolas and why he went down in history as such a great person, but that's it.

Plus, you're completely right about the Christmas present credit. I bought the presents, I want to get the hugs and kisses. :D

Em (Super Reader Girl) said...

Great post, Kiersten. I completely agree. I actually tried to teach my children NOT to believe in Santa. I taught them about the supposed origins of Santa Clause - a nice man who wanted to give gifts anonymously - and that we could do that too. I didn't want them to be confused about what was real and what was pretend. Angels & Jesus? Real. Magic man in a flying sleigh who comes down our chimney? Not real.

But then my daughter started school and is determined that Santa is real and she keeps trying to get me to believe. ;) I don't really try to quash her beliefs. I usually wrap one present for each child from Santa, but I don't make a big deal about it. They actually saw the "Santa" wrapping paper last year, but Grandma told them Santa has the same paper we do. :)

Jillian said...

Great post. My friend's young son is TERRIFIED of Santa Claus. He can't watch any of the Christmas movies and only agreed to let Santa come if it's when he's fast asleep... I think that seems more creepy, but whatever works I guess. I don't look forward to lying to my kids either, but it seems inescapable. At least I can take credit for most of the gifts - good idea!

patdwhite said...

Ahem. You girls loved the underwear in the stockings, at least until you were old enough to know what Victoria's' Secret was! And what is creepier, having new underwear from Santa or hand me down underwear from big sister? And what about Santa leaving a can of olives in your stocking every year? That seems a bit odd also.

But when all is said and done, now that I have all adult children, I miss the wonder of Christmas Eve and morning. The excitement in all of my children's beautiful eyes. My little girls dancing around the tree in their new Christmas nightgowns, and racing off to bed so Santa can come. Mom and I waiting by the tree in the morning for all of you to race out and see what you got.

For children Christmas is mostly about receiving, but for me it was the joy of giving and seeing how happy you all were.

I really miss that.

Marsha Sigman said...

LOLOLOLOL, this is sooo funny! My baby cried until he was at least five when he had to sit on some old guy's lap. He liked the IDEA of Santa Clause but not the actual reality of touching him.lol It is a little creepy.

Elizabeth said...

Dude, I'm in YOUR club! I have four kids under the age of 9 and we don't write letters to or sit on Santa mostly because I've never had time for that nonsense. They get one present that I make sure we outshine and he gets credit for the stocking, but I tell them sometimes I put stuff in, too. I never threaten that he is watching though they do sing the song. I'm not anti-Santa, I'm just not front-in-line for the I heart Santa t-shirts.
Merry Christmas and I love your blog!

Jordan said...

I don't really *get* all this anti-Santa antipathy (not just from Kiersten, but in general from the commenters). Growing up, Santa brought us a big gift a piece and the stockings. Sometimes we also got a big gift for all of us to share. Everything else was from Mom & Dad.

Almost universally, that's the experience described by commenters here. From what I've seen, all the gifts coming from Santa is an exception, not the rule.

I totally understand the concern in kids conflating the make-believe magic of Santa and the real miracle of Jesus, but I think it's a bit overblown. I mean, adult believers have figured it out, right? While my parents taught us the reality of the risen Lord all year long, they never sat us down and said, "Okay, so Santa's not really real, but believe us when we say Jesus really is real."

It's possible to do that, though, and to even use an outgrown belief in Santa to teach a child about the real magic of Christmas.

I think the reason why I don't get the antipathy, though, is because I knew a family that was militantly "OUR GIFTS COME FROM OUR HARDWORKING PARENTS." This was delivered with a pitying tone, as if my parents did me a disservice by allowing me to believe in something like . . . Santa. (I was a teenager, so it wasn't like they were disabusing me of the illusion. Though it sounds like they'd've thought they were doing me a favor if they had.)

(My real impression was that the parents were so caught up in pride about whatever they could give to their children that they couldn't let their kids believe in the magic of Christmas because that would mean allowing someone else to take even a small amount of credit.)

Basically, this is a lot of words to say we're all overthinking something that is simple enough for a child.

(But I do agree with everything else you mentioned, Kiersten.)

Kiersten White said...

And, Jordan, please keep in mind that I am serious on my blog about 2% of the time. I love that my kids have a little bit of magic on Christmas, and I don't demand that they know that EVERYTHING IS FROM ME RAWR.

Again--I think I have about four posts in the past three-and-a-half years that aren't at least party in jest.

Kiersten White said...

And by "party in jest" I either mean "partly in jest" or I'm having WAY MORE PARTIES THAN THE REST OF YOU ROCK ON I AM SO COOL.

lynnrush said...

Oh my word this post made me laugh.


Merry Christmas.

Erin said...

my kids are *sooo* getting underwear in their stockings this year! (well, I guess Audrey is getting diapers). because it's TRADITION.

never even occurred to me that it was weird, and i still don't think it is.

Eleven Eleven said...

Loved this Kiersten. I have a complex about this, so it is such a relief to see it played out with such light-hearted fun.

I didn't have Santa growing up. Or the Easter Bunny or even the Tooth Fairy. My parents told us they didn't want to lie to their children.

Now I do the Santa thing for my kids because it was a cornerstone of DH's childhood, and he wants that kind of magic for his kids. If he's so keen on it, maybe it's okay to lie to your kids. I dunno. I'll tell you in fifteen years when we check their adult psyches for emotional scarring.

I'm not a gifty person, so I don't care so much for the credit, but Santa only brings one present to each kid, so if there are layoffs or nuclear war or whatever, Santa can still come through. Well, maybe not with the nuclear war.

I try not to bristle when people tell kids santa is watching, and they'd better be good. I tell myself a lot of religion works the same way for people until they grow up (which they don't always do), so I can see how it makes sense in principle. The magical benefactor can read your thoughts and see all your secret actions, so even if you aren't motivated by love of virtue for itself, you are still completely honest in hopes of reward, whether it's heaven or an Xbox.

Sigh. The whole topic makes me a little itchy. Can you get hives from issues about Santa? And if you can, does mistletoe serve as a remedy? Or does it just make it worse?

Patti said...

My sister in law once told me that the good gifts should always come from mom and dad and I've always adhered to that.

Plus, I don't like the whole Santa mall thing and so my kids never went. I'll only perpetuate the magic so far.

AshesofFairy said...

Ahahaha, yes! These are things that always creeped me out, especially when I had to sing the song as a kid. He's always watching, and he knows when your awake. O.o
But Christmas at my house always worked the same as yours. Most presents are from mom and dad, and a few near the fireplace are from Santa. The people in malls were Santa's helpers, not the real man. All these improve moves by my parents never tarnished the magis of Christmas, and the arrival of baby Jesus was a huge deal. Thanks for the Cristmas cheer/rant. ^.^

Em (Super Reader Girl) said...

One other thing I forgot! I "found out" about Santa when I was in kindergarten (from my teacher! - I was really mad at my mom for lying to me btw) but as I grew up thought the song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" would probably seem kind of creepy to kids who didn't know....Doesn't it? I don't think my kids have heard it yet. If they do hear it, maybe I'll just tell them it was on the cheek?

Hot Stuff said...

For the record, I do not agree with the Santa brings only one present rule.

Brooke said...

I am still laughing, Kiersten! You are HILarious! I feel the same way about Santa. I can't wait until my kids 'outgrow' the belief in this jolly old wierdo! :D It clouds the holiday and doesn't seem very magical to me. Adored the references to Twilight. Still laughing about that one, too! :D

Stephanie said...

What's kind of funny about me and Christmas is that I was always in it for the presents. And after I learned Santa wasn't real, I was in it because Christmas made my house *shing! sparkle, sparkle*.

But this year, we're not even really celebrating. No tree, no wreath (wreathe?), no decorations, nothing. And the weather cut it pretty close this year–we just got snow yesterday. And forget good Christmas presents–my sister and I, to get anything remotely resembling what we want, have to ask our parents to get them.

There are no such things as surprises at my house. :'D

The only thing I like about Santa Claus are the books. Especially the picture books. And The Legend of Holly Claus. :D

Awesome post!

Melissa Down Under said...

Umm...Santa is pretty practical in our household, so underwear does appear in their stockings. He also gives deodorant (my oldest 2 are at an age that it is appropriate - the 3 yr old won't be getting deodorant;)), and stationery for the new school year.

With Santa, I think it really is a matter of balance. My kids definately get a 'Santa' gift, but the rest are from us. But we are in an awkward stage where my oldest 2 (12 & 10) know the truth, but my 3 year old, she believes in Santa. So we have a lot of conversations like:
'Mum, for Christmas can you...'
'Um..' (uses very wide eyes to indicate that 3 year old is in earshot) 'no, but SANTA might.'

Hope you and your family have a great Christmas and New Year! Looks like we will be getting a beautiful hot summer's day for Christmas this year, yeah!

Amber Cuadra said...

Oh my gosh! That was hilarious! And so true... I've never really liked Santa. Creeper....

Kiersten White said...

Hot Stuff--And, just like every year, your objection is duly noted and summarily dismissed. But I love you. And you're handsome.

The Amai*Zing said...

Great topic. While I still like the idea of Santa there is a certain point where it becomes too much. In our stocking as a kid we often got an orange and peanuts. But umm underwear is a no. Just no!

Erin F. said...

HAHAHA, oh man this post made me laugh. And since I have no kids, I'm totally putting undies in my sister's stocking this year! What? That's not creepy at all... lol.

Btw I'm definitely with you on the whole why-should-some-mysterious-man-who-isn't-sexy-and-doesn't-sparkle-and-only-shows-up-once-a-year-to-creep-around-my-house get all the credit for the presents that I labored over???

Evie Fan said...

But I love Santa! He gives us all presents and makes all happy even though I have this secret idea that parents run the show not the elves with Santa. I don't see whats so bad about him. Is it his hair? His love for cookies. Santa is a special part of mine and others childhoods and I don' think its okay to say you hate him and kind of direct kids minds in the direction that the parents are Santa ( even though he's real)

Happy Christmas
A Paranormalcy Fan
PS. I hope you get some chocolate from Santa!

Kiersten White said...

Oy, are there kids reading this blog? Because all I said was that Santa isn't a vampire. Which is totally true. I don't hate him, either. I just don't like a lot of what comes with Santa traditions at Christmas.

My kids still write letters to him and get presents from him : )

Kristin Rae said...

Love this post... I'm still not sure what I'd do about the Santa situation when I have kids... I loved the magic of it when I was young but when I found out the truth I felt like someone died.
Some friends of mine don't do it at all because they don't like the feeling of "lying" to their kids, and this year, their son actually thanked them for it, and he's all upset that most parents do tell their kids such a tale. He just doesn't understand the point. Interesting 8 year old perspective! (And he doesn't understand why kids would sit on a stranger's lap!)
(And I always get undies in my stocking... that isn't normal??) (I'm totally serious) :)

Anonymous said...

That's actually not a bad novel idea. A young Santa Claus? Hm.... I think I could make that work.
Thanks for the idea Kiersten!
Merry Christmas!

Jessie Oliveros said...

We got underwear, too! Total rip-off. We also believe in taking the credit. Santa gives the kids one big present and fills the stockings. That's it. I love that picture! Merry Christmas.

Nikelle said...

As a child, I knew that there were some parents who tried to convince their child that Santa wasn't real. But somewhere in my mind I knew it didn't make sense that anyone would disbelieve if they had presents magically appearing under their tree at night.

Mom: "Honey, Santa's not real. What's this? A train set magically came during the night? Santa's still not real."

But the inner me didn't want to disbelieve in case he was real :)

Stephanie Perkins said...

I am laughing so, so hard!

Bestest Christmas post EVER.

Wannabe Writer said...

Too funny. I completely agree with you, and I have been to the dark side. A week ago, I was Santa (Claws, that is) at a local pet store when our scheduled Santa failed to show up. What a power trip! I was there to take photos, for charity, with pets. But kids can't get enough of Santa! They would run as fast as their little feet could carry them to wave at me, get a hug, and tell me all about the snakes they wanted for Christmas.

As they looked up at me with their big, love-filled eyes, I realized Santa could do no wrong. Although, the kids were more than a little confused when they discovered that Santa was a girl. I had some explaining to do.

Madeleine said...

I really like the idea of *one* special present being from Santa. Then, the kids get a chance to practice their thank-yous.

I know this wasn't a major bit in the post, but I totally understand where you're coming from with the comment about a kid in a restaurant. Key to Parenthood (or so I've heard from my parents): Only make threats you can go through with. You lose your credibility and influence otherwise.

Anyway, great post! We've got to squeeze moms, dads, underwear, and, of course, Jesus into the holiday.

aimmyarrowshigh said...

I grew up in a dual-religion household that didn't adhere or encourage either religion (Christianity or Judaism), but we still celebrated Christmas and Chanukah. The "miracle of the menorah lights" was attributed less to God and more to the strength of will and strength of belief that the world could provide what is needed to get by, and the "miracle of Christmas" in our house was, in most ways, embodied by Santa Claus.

Since we didn't celebrate the religious meaning of the holiday or believe in Jesus as the divine, we were always taught that the spirit and purpose of Christmas was the willing suspension of disbelief for the willful enjoyment of the world, to be able to celebrate childlike joy, innocence, and wonderment. Santa Claus did that.

Yes, there are a lot of aspects of modern (and traditional) Santa that are super creepy (especially as a little kid in the '90s - STRANGER DANGER STRANGER DANGER!). But there are also the parables of Santa and Mrs. Claus, an ancient and happy and ever-in-love couple, living in an ice castle up at the North pole, taking in misfit toys and dentistry-savvy elves to give them a sense of home and belonging, who choose to spend their time rewarding children who have the strength to keep their heads up and unashamedly have good hearts. That's not so scary, especially if you're a little kid who is a misfit herself.

THAT said, your comparison of Santa Claus to Edward Cullen made me laugh so hard I spit milk out my nose and I will never view either character the same way again.

- A Fanatically Obsessed Fan of Paranormalcy

Ailsa said...

I don't understand how people can say that all the presents came from Santa - it's just such a weird idea to me. Santa fills the stockings, and they're small stockings - a piece of fruit, and small packet of sweets, and something like a card game or small toy.
I'm 19, my brother is 17, and it's been a long long time since we believed in Santa, but we still do stockings. It's always been that Santa filled the stockings - other presents from mum & dad would be put under the tree, usually in the week leading up to Christmas, as mum got them wrapped. We knew who got the credit for finding the cool presents.

Ashley said...

Santa totally puts underwear in our stockings! Also toothbrushes and toothpaste. I think it's awesome that he's filing up the stockings with ordinary things that he'd have to buy anyway, wrapping it up and calling it a present! I guess Santa is just cheap!

lora96 said...

If you haven't already, read Auntie Claus.

I read it to my 2ndgraders every year at the holiday part and it really gets the message across. Then we talk about which gifts we would love to GIVE someone. THis is more fun for me than hearing how they all want a dang Nintendo DSi.

Kate Larkindale said...

My kids always get underwear in their stockings. And socks. It's kind of a joke, because one year I said all they'd get for Christmas was socks ad underwear, so now I make sure the first things they pull out of the stocking are socks and underwear.

Kel in No. Indiana said...

Kiersten, I am dealing with the issue if Santa is 'real' or not with my 8yo daughter. My 10yo daughter understands that Santa isn't real and plays along with her sister (which I discourage). My girlies know fact from fiction and I always steer the conversation towards the real reason - the birth of Jesus. Thank you for posting about the 'Santa' issue.

I don't remember every receiving underwear for Christmas...maybe I've blocked those memories. :)

Merry Christmas!


Red Boot Pearl said...

My little sister made a t-shirt that said: SANTA'S not REAL, and if your kids can read this, they're old enough to know. (I think she was in middle school)

For some reason my family has always stressed the "Santa's a fun game" kind of idea. Personally I think it would be pretty traumatic to really BELIEVE in him and find out he was a big fake.

Jen the bibliophile said...

Oh my gosh, I was laughing so hard I was crying. Mostly, I think it's because I not only agreed with you all the way, it was dang funny. My mom is always on my case about Santa for my girls and I'm like, why should Santa get all the credit for that. I paid for hit, he did nothing. I wonder, does that make me selfish? If so, let it be, because I so don't think he deserves the credit.

Although, I wouldn't mind kissing Santa Clause if he happened to be a bronze haired sparkly vampire. But as it stands, I'm going to definitely go on route to creeper.

Great post! Still laughing. (I'm so showing this to my sisters) Oh, and you're not alone in the underwear department. I used to get underwear and then eventually bras. It's crazy what that "old man" thought up.

In the Closet With a Bibliophile

Ariel said...

Hahaha! Your last line is great. Thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

Love this post. So funny!! That IS pretty creepy that an old man sneaks around your house.

But I have to admit, my husband and I are milking Santa for all he's worth--not in the "Santa's watching..." kind of way. But in the "oh, you want that toy in the store today? Better ask Santa for Christmas." Are you kidding me? For the last two months, my 3-year-old daughter happily puts the toy back on the shelf without so much as a HINT of a tantrum just because she has the chance of getting it at Christmastime!! THANK YOU, Santa. We have Santa bring most of the gifts because while she's that young, we don't want her getting any ideas that we have the money to buy her toys all the time. We're happy to have him take all the credit!

Donna Gambale said...

This. Was. Hilarious.

I kinda figured out my parents were Santa when the tags that said "From Santa" were written in multicolored markers and oh hey, it looks like Santa's blue and purple markers are running out too, just like ours! What a coincidence!

Ishta Mercurio said...

LOL! Santa does the same thing at my house as at yours, I think: he brings each kid one present, maybe one present for them to share, and one present for the whole family, and he fills the stockings. The rest is left to my husband and me. I like it.

And I agree about the creepiness of forcing kids to sit on his lap and tell him secrets. I never, ever forced my kids to go and see Santa when they were toddlers, although I do let them see him now that they're older and they know the score. Stranger Danger is something we preach in our house. (Although I would totally go for a sparkly Santa with bronze hair. And wouldn't that explain his immortality? I think we should start a revolution.)