Once upon a time someone created the idea that a fat man with a long beard who isolates himself away from the rest of the world spies on us, “he sees us when were sleeping and knows if we’ve been bad or good“. Said fat man, who as it turns out only has one outfit and lives with his wife and 1000’s of tiny people who he makes work in a factory day and night, also creeps into your house once a year through the chimney when you’re asleep and deposits gifts. Now, as notions go this is far fetched and to be frank, dam right creepy, but here we are many, many years later still trying to ignite excitement from our children about a stranger, basically undoing all the hard work we have put in place regarding stranger danger for the entire year because if the stranger sneaks in and has a sack full of gifts, well that’s okay!
Now, I doubt very much that this elaborate story creator expected the whole world to buy into this BUT when they realised they had I feel they should have created a rule book. Some guidelines that ALL families should follow in order to make Christmas 1) fair on all children 2)Easier for parents to know what the hell to do and 3) a tad more believable.
I feel the rule book should cover the basics
#1 What does Santa bring?
I feel this is a big one. When I was growing up every present under the tree was from Santa, every last one. That was how it worked. I tried this with my children and it was fine until my little boy wanted to know why I didn’t get him a Christmas present but his friends mum bought her a bike and about 100 dolls. Cue parent guilt.
So, does Santa bring everything, just fills the stockings, a few gifts, or just the main attraction?
#2 What is Santa’s budget?
I think Santa should have a budget. Not just because I’m tight and kids have NO sense of money but also because if every family spent the same it would be so much fairer. How do you explain to your children that the naughtiest girl in class got a new bike, state of the art gaming computer AND a whole selection of dolls but little Timmy who is the nicest child and never gets in trouble only got a football. It seriously sounds like Santa messed up here when in truth it’s all down to parental spending habits. Maybe Christmas should be limited and birthdays can be a free for all when you can actually take the credit for spoiling your child and shower them in useless crap they will have lost/broken/forgotten about by then end of the week. If we are going to successfully bribe our children for the whole of December with “Santa is watching you” then we need to make it look like he actually notices who does what.
#3 Where is the real Santa?
Most parents will take their children to visit a Santa in December, some will visit a few. Which one is the real deal? We see one who is the real Santa, any others are his helpers but what if your children see a helper and that was their friends “real” one? What if the Santa looks fake? Is that okay because he isn’t real or are they all real? It’s a mind field, a web of lies and deception and I am totally tripping over myself from one visit to another.
#4 Where do presents stay?
Now my understanding was that Santa delivered all the presents, every last one. Even the ones we bought for others we magically sent to Santa who then distributed them around the world like a glorified mail man, so how do explain it when you go to a friends house and they already have presents under the tree 3 weeks before Christmas. Is Santa on strike this year? And what about the table gifts or Christmas eve boxes does he do them too or can parents take the credit for those ones.
#5 Who eats what?
This one only occurred to me as problematic this week when the big’un asked me to buy a whole bag of carrots for Santa. “I’m pretty sure Rudolph will only eat one sweetie”, was my answer, to which he replied “yes but no one ever feeds the other reindeer, they must be starving”. Hmm the kid has a point, every house feeds Santa, which explains his ever expanding waist line, and every house feeds one reindeer, the others must be malnourished and exhausted, tad unfair, so yeah what should we leave out and for who?
#6 Social media ban for Christmas morning
Now to be fair the elaborate story teller could not have possibly known that this story would still be going so many years later, nor could they know that social media would exist so I’ll give them a little break on this one but I’m adding it in now anyway. Years ago you had no idea what your friends Christmas mornings looked like, you only ever heard the highlights, their favourite gifts and that was fine. Now parents post pictures of the mountains of presents under the tress across social media to induce yet more parent guilt on those who cant afford or choose not to buy as many gifts. Some of those gifts might be fore other people, or they might be bits of cheap tat but the pictures are shared, kids see them, parents see them and feel crap and then you have two problems. 1) Santa got it wrong or child thinks they were naughty 2) Parents feel awful go crazy the next year and get into debt hence why we need to ban social media pictures and introduce Santa’s Rule Book.
Who’s with me?