So the other day some friends and I had a conversation about Santa Claus and I mentioned that I don’t remember ever believing in Santa Claus.
From the response I got you would have thought I’d said my family routinely drowned kittens at Christmas.
I don’t think that means I had a terrible childhood, do you? Maybe I did believe in Santa at some point, but I don’t remember that, and I don’t remember being told he didn’t exist. My parents put presents under the tree for my sisters and I: some were wrapped and had name tags on them, and some were placed there the night of Christmas Eve with no wrapping or tags. I don’t recall them ever saying “Santa left this for you”. I do remember being excited to see what wold appear under the tree on Christmas Eve.
A co-workers was telling me about a relative of hers that doesn’t want anyone to give her son toys for Christmas unless they say they’re from Santa… gifts of clothes and stuff can be from Aunt and Uncle, but the fun stuff has to be from St. Nick. Are you kidding me right now? Oh h#ll no… if I trekked my broke a$$ to Target to buy your child an expensive Fisher Price toy, you bet your sweet a$$ I’ll be writing my name on that effing card. How do you dictate gift giving? Who does that? Sometimes I think parents go wayyyyy too far to perpetuate the whole Santa conspiracy.
Another matter: I think the “Elf on a Shelf” phenomenon is utterly ridiculous. In fact, I agree with a friend of mine that calls it “lazy parenting”. To me it seems like you can’t control your kids’ behavior so you turn those duties over to a stuffed elf. A freaky looking stuffed elf that’s EXPENSIVE to buy, and comes with a change of clothes. That’s right: you can buy CLOTHING for your psycho stuffed elf.
For a while I kept my opinions of this elf of a shelf crap to myself, then I happened upon this super-hilarious blog from a woman who’s also fed up with the elf shenanigans. Another case of parents going to great lengths to perpetuate the consumer crazy. There are blogs and lists out there devoted to different activities you can make your elves do to surprise the kids each day: find the elf reading books, making “snow angels” in spilled flour on the counter, all kinds of foolishness. Honestly? I’m an adult, and I find those dolls a bit scary to look at, and I’d pee my pants if I noticed him moving locations all throughout my house without my knowledge. Even good kids would legitimately be freaked out by this. Why terrorize your kids into good behavior during the holidays? Let’s be honest: if you were expecting good behavior all year long that elf would be unnecessary. THAT ELF WOULD BE UNEMPLOYED.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a reincarnation of Ebenezer Scrooge. I love Christmas. I look forward to the magic of the Christmas season all year long. There’s something amazing and special about the lights, and the time you spend with families and friends… the food, the carols, the wonder, the Nativity. I’m just appalled that people think I’m nutso for not believing in Santa as a kid, and I’m shocked at how the whole elf thing has taken off.
I’m just sayin. You can still have an excellent Christmas without hoping that the freaky-looking stuffed elf is gonne report back to the North Pole so that a big fat white dude can shimmy down your chimney to give you presents.
Thanks for letting me rant,