Monday, November 19, 2007

Bad mom, bad, bad, mom

I'm not a huge Santa fan. He's not a big deal at our house. I know that many people make a huge, huge deal about him. I made the mistake last year of telling my neighbor that I was going shopping for stocking stuff.

"Shh, don't let the kids hear you. Santa brings the stockings."

Samuel has a huge imagination so believing in Santa is easy. I've never told him that Santa is real. He just is. He's in our backyard right now, pretending to be an animal rescuer.
"Mom, do you hear that baby bird calling? He needs help. He can't fly. I will go save him."
So Santa, flying with reindeer, bringing gifts, not a stretch. The kid will figure it out soon enough. If I tell him that he isn't real now, he'll end up crushing a bunch of kids. I don't want to deal with their moms.

This morning I get the kids up to go to the mall. I hate the mall. I maybe go two or three times a year. But I heard that they were giving out 20% off Gymboree coupons at the Santa booth. I figured I'd just go up, ask for the coupon, bypass Santa and be on our way. 20% off is not a big deal. But Friday the whole store will be 30% off and 20% on top off this is 50%. A pretty good deal, especially when you're on a budget.

We get to the Santa place and there he is. I'm not sure what I was thinking. Of course Samuel would want to see him and talk to him. I had two options. Get the coupon, run, and listen to Samuel cry on the way home. Or, wait in line and let him sit on the deceiver of all children's lap. So, I opted for the latter. Samuel was ecstatic. The line had maybe five kids in front of us. A girl about Samuel's age was screaming in fright. She wanted nothing to do with the man with the huge beard and belly. Her mother kept on saying, "He's the one that is bringing you presents and Santa doesn't like girls that cry. Just smile for the picture." She continued screaming. At one point, Samuel sweetly told her, "Santa is a really nice man, I promise."

Samuel was quite the opposite of this little girl. He crept up to a little hole where he could peek and get a glimpse of him. I heard him say, "Psst, psst, Santa, right here, I'm Samuel." When it was our turn, he jumped up on Santa's lap and had quite a conversation with him. He asked for a fishing rod and a flashlight that works. I got my coupon and left the mall.

So what's my beef with Santa? Well, you are lying to your kids about where all the presents come from. Santa does not come down the chimney and leave them under the tree. What's wrong with saying all the gifts are from mom and dad? And many parents use Christmas as a way to get your kids to behave. Santa doesn't bring gifts, if you're naughty. Guess what, you can be the biggest brat in the world. Your parent will threaten and threaten to tell Santa that you're bad. But come Christmas morning, the brat will have a ton of toys, making him an even bigger brat. But my biggest beef? How commercial Christmas has become. It's so hard to get away from it. A trip to the mall, the toy store, even the grocery store becomes a gaudy, commercial nightmare.

Remember Jesus? Yeah, that little baby that saved the world. Now, that is a story to get your imagination going and excited about. This year, we are going to stay away the mall and the toy stores. Will we give gifts? Sure, a few. Maybe even a fishing rod and a flashlight. But all of them will be from mom and dad. Will my kids be naughty? Yup, every day. But, gifts are for the naughty. A little baby came to earth to give the naughty the greatest gift of them all. That's what Christmas is about.

I forgot my camera today so when I got home, I ran in and got it to take a picture of my sleeping baby. Beautiful, isn't she? Those cheeks and that Thompson bottom lip. Beautiful.