Advent Day Two: Write a Letter to Santa

Yes, we “do Santa” at our house.  Mainly because the idea of not doing Santa sounds really tiring.  There seems to be a lot of explaining involved in not doing Santa.  And also honestly it just never really occurred to me.

I have great respect for people who have thought this thing out enough to have a stance on Santa, especially when it’s because they plan never lie to their kids.  I’m just kind of winging this parenting thing over here, and also? I lie my ass off to my kids! I totally do! I lie to them on an hourly basis, basically.  Just this morning I told them that the inside of McDonald’s was closed for the winter and we HAD to go through the drive through.  You can feel free to sit inside at McDonald’s whenever you want.  I’ll be over here in the drive through, lying my ass off as usual!  And also eating fries.

Also, I will just say this.  I wouldn’t say I had the best childhood, although I certainly did not have the worst.  But before the divorce and the yelling and the going to court and that wondrous moment when my father told me, at ten years old, that childhood was a myth perpetrated by the liberal media, I can honestly tell you that coming downstairs on Christmas morning to a metric ton of presents and having it come from a fat man in red suit who demanded nothing more than my childhood belief was one of the very best parts of my whole growing up.  It was, in fact,  so unbelievably purely great that finding out that Santa wasn’t real doesn’t touch it at all.  At least for me.

Furthermore, not to start a religious feud or whatever, (let’s talk about breastfeeding next!) but I grew up in a very religious household and Santa didn’t diminish the reverence of the season at all.  When I stood in that church at midnight and breathed in that incense and thought about a teenage Mary giving birth to the Son of God, with all the wonder that entails, Santa wasn’t the smallest part of that.  Kids are smart.  I fully believe they can do Jesus and Santa, no problem, with no diminishing of either one.  Just saying.

I don’t care if you do Santa, but we are big liars who love stuff, so there you go.

Anyway.

This morning we wrote a letter to Santa.  In order to get my beloved child to quit watching Shaun the Sheep for the ten thousandth time and come do this magical activity with me, I had to bribe him by telling him that we could use permanent markers.  You’re probably over there thinking that I should just tell him calmly that tv time is over and that it’s time to do something else, in which case you have a way higher opinion of my parenting skills than you should.  Threats and bribes, people, threats and bribes, that’s all we’ve got going on over here.  Oh, and the lying! Don’t forget the lying.

Luckily to a four year old a permanent marker is like crack cocaine, so Eli was all about this activity.

I believe the annual Letter to Santa is traditionally where the child comes up with 14 gift ideas that he has never mentioned before, mere minutes after his parents have finished purchasing the last of the other things he has been requesting during the months of January through November.  Luckily Eli’s saving that up for our official visit to Santa, and he asked for a bike (yes! purchased!), Hot Wheels tracks (check!) and a surprise (check!). I also reminded him to ask for a typing machine because I didn’t fend off all those hipsters on Ebay for nothing.

Here he is after I told him to smile for the camera and pretend to be working on his list for Santa.  He’s just so photogenic, you guys. I think it’s time I start entering some kid photo contests.  (That’s a chocolate milk mustache, btw.)

Then he said “Take a picture of this!” and thus concluded our Advent Activity.

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27 Responses

  1. Permanent marker. Brave.

  2. Threats and bribes, and lying, is how we like to roll too. Sometimes I feel terrible about it (we should reason with them! or simply be firm and consistent and not react to our kids’ overdramatic crying or whining!) and sometimes I pause and consider that this is how ninety five percent of the world’s children are raised, and only a very small percentage end up serial murderers or truly bad people. So, it must not be an epic fail, to give in to the ease of a well placed bribe or threat vs. the prospect of talk talk talking with an irrational mini human who has an undeveloped logic center.

  3. Um, I really don’t know what to enjoy more: the “we are big liars who love stuff” or the fact that McDonald’s inside is closed in the winter.

    • It just occurred to me that we are going to have to come up with a different lie in the summer! Crap.

  4. Dude, I love your lying ass. And Eli’s is pretty cute too. HA!

  5. “I don’t care if you do Santa, but we are big liars who love stuff, so there you go.”

    This is my new holiday motto. So thanks for that!

  6. I just discovered you today. I think I’m in love. 🙂

  7. I laughed out loud that your dad told you childhood is a myth of the liberal media. I found that to be incredibly funny. My dad’s line was that life is tough in the big city. We lived in a suburb.

    My parents lied their asses off about everything and Dad totally used the “scare into obedience” approach. I think I was afraid of my dad until… after college? He got soft. I’m no longer scared. Pretty sure they both still lie to us.

    Anyway, I Eli’s picture. Take a picture of this. HA.

  8. I am with you on everything you wrote about Santa. And religion.

    I actually considered not doing the Santa thing for about 5 seconds, but I’m so glad we did it. For me, it adds another layer of fun and joy to Christmas.

    Oh, man, that butt picture is awesome. That sounds creepy. You know what I mean, I hope.

  9. I’m with you on the Santa thing. I grew up in a religious house and am still religious. Santa brought our stockings and I never thought he had anything to do with Jesus. Or that since Santa wasn’t real, Jesus isn’t either. We’re not planning on being big SANTA ISN’T REAL people, but we also aren’t really going to push him. Santa shall be a character in our house just like Dora the Explorer (although right now Dora is kicking the pants off him in the popularity contest.) He’ll probably bring the stockings, but not the presents.

  10. I don’t have kids but if I did, I’d totally be the kind of parent you are! Real and delightful!

  11. “The idea of not doing Santa sounds really tiring.”

    THIS is where I am right now. We decided before Nate was even born that we weren’t going to “do” Santa, and this year (and, really, next year) is when we’re really going to have to put our money where our mouth is on this. Honestly, fretting about it is making me tired and stressed. Throw in Emily’s story about the kid who told the entire group of children at the nature that Santa isn’t real . . . and a part of me just wants to throw up my hands and go along with it.

    Honestly, a really, really big part of my digging in my heels now is that my mother and stepfather are telling me all know-it-all-like that OBVIOUSLY we’re going to change our minds about this. I am nothing if not annoyingly stubborn and totally bent on proving my parents wrong. Sorry, Nate! If only Granny and Granddad hadn’t gotten up on their high horse, you could have totally magical Santa memories! (I kid, but only sort of.)

  12. I’m totally with you on the religion/Santa stuff. I still believe Jesus is real and Santa isn’t, so there you go. As always, you crack me up. And Eli is priceless!

  13. I loved this. I’ve been seeing a lot about Santa/no Santa lately and it’s very interesting and thought-provoking material, but I think reading your post made me feel like it’s OKAY that the whole subject doesn’t really seem like a big deal to me. It also helps that, like you, we had Santa and I LOVED Santa. But we were also moderately religious, and I never felt like Santa stole any of the spotlight from the church aspect of Christmas.

    I love your son’s expressions in photos. He is hilarious (and adorable).

  14. I think it’s so funny that we know all about people’s opinions on Santa and breastfeeding and baby sleeping and political leanings. . .and we don’t even know these people in real life. Sometimes I step back a little and think, “whoa, blogging is weird.” You know?

  15. Oh man, you’re killing me here.

    I am all about the lying and the bribes, c’mon.

  16. It’s all relative–not even bribery or lies will lure Anna away from Shaun the Sheep. I would feel like a much better parent if my child could be bribed away from the television. That separation has to be physical. And ugly.

  17. For me it’s not the lying aspect, because we also lie to our kids all the time. (Best one so far- my daughter fully believes that the wound my brother has on his leg is a dinosaur bite.) But the keeping up the lie sounds more tiring than not doing it at all. We’ll see though. At 3 1/2 Kalena still really doesn’t have a concept of Santa so who knows how things will turn out.

  18. I tell Claire almost every day that Chick-fil-A is closed. EVERY DAY.

  19. My favorite part: “Threats and bribes, people, threats and bribes, that’s all we’ve got going on over here. Oh, and the lying! Don’t forget the lying.”

    The other favorite part: “Take a picture of this.”

  20. you are so funny! I know where Eli gets it from. 🙂 We don’t “do” Santa. But my childhood was populated by Santa, the Easter bunny, leprachauns who turned our apple juice green, the tooth fairy and who knows what else. Also, we believed in God, Jesus, saints and angels. . . only God and his entourage have endured the test of time and the trials of reality. But about the rest of the lot, we definitely have fond memories and a lively sense of fun and tradition.

  21. I started trying to quote my favorite parts of this post and wound up with half your post in my comment. So.

    At my house, I call bribes “bonding agents” because they help us bond! By keeping mommy (relatively) sane!

  22. I loved your post…..the inside of McD’s being closed is awesome….and the Sharpie bribe – brilliant!

  23. Love this post! We are all about the Santa and the lying at our house. My kids think my brother trained ninjas before going to medical school. Coolest uncle ever. That same brother also told the mall Santa he wanted a hatchet for Christmas. AND SANTA SAID YES. I don’t know what kind of crazy psycho mall Santa that was but my parents had to come up with a hatchet for a 3 yr old that year.

  24. Love this post! We are all about the Santa and the lying at our house. My kids think my brother trained ninjas before going to medical school. Coolest uncle ever. That same brother also told the mall Santa he wanted a hatchet for Christmas. AND SANTA SAID YES. I don’t know what kind of crazy psycho mall Santa that was but my parents had to come up with a hatchet for a 3 yr old that year.

  25. “I don’t care if you do Santa, but we are big liars who love stuff, so there you go.” SNORT LAUGHED. Because yes 🙂 I lie daily. It’s the only way to survive with my sanity. Yay Santa!

  26. this is maybe my favorite thing i’ve read all year.

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