Sunday, January 4, 2009

Santa Claus...what valuable life skills are they really learning?

So this post is an in depth analysis of what exactly our children are learning from Santa Claus. Please don't get the wrong impression and immediately quit reading this post. This is not one of those Communist "Let's get rid of Santa and remember the true meaning of Christmas, bla, bla, bla" posts, but rather a "What approach really works to maximize presents while minimizing the potential of coal?" post. Read on:

So, here is our eldest child doing that which she has been doing for the past eight Christmases. I am pleased to announce that she has learned the art of "Santa Manipulation." When asked what she wants for Christmas, she sweetly replies: "Oh...I don't know. I have been so richly blessed and while I have been a VERY good girl, I just want to make sure that all of the less-fortunate girls and boys receive something before I do. I guess if you really insist on bringing me something, I will just leave it up to you as to what that will be." Of course the object here is to not limit herself to only one request, but to maximize on Santa's elfish heartstrings and receive the "mother-load." (Read "Sleigh-Load.") Works every time. (Her wardrobe choice also helps. She had just finished participating in the ward Christmas pageant as an angel. She was given the option to change her clothes. She declined. All part of her diabolical design.)

Foster has come a long way from the terrified, stuttering pre-schooler of Christmases past when placed onto Santa's lap. He has learned to be brief, concise, and to the point. Why beat around the bush? Neither he nor Santa is there for a lengthy conversation about his (Foster's) many exploits of the previous year. So he had a couple of recess detentions. Why split hairs? Confession may be good for the soul, but it is terrible for the stocking. Just get to the point and put in the request and not bore the old man. This strategy, too, works.
Aaaaah. Our newest requester. The two year old. So, up to this point in her short life, I have been instilling the importance of "Stranger Awareness." This is the only time of the year that she is encouraged to sit on the lap of an overweight, bearded white guy offering her candy (who, coincidentally, describes every level 3 sex offender in the state.) While this proved to be very confusing to her, she was able to develop her own scheme that, I hope, will evolve into something much quieter next year. Ella's strategy was, of course, panic. Scream, cry, kick, and cling to your mother. If done properly, not only do you get to escape the creepy guy's lap, but they thrust candy on you to shut you down.
I wish that you could see more of Santa's face in this pic. He was pretty much ecstatic to see this coming at him: (I'm equally excited to be included in the photo.)
And here is the after. Don't you love the pleased-with-herself-that-at-least-she-got-candy-laugh/cry? So she was slightly traumatized. It was all done in the name of Christmas joy.

Merrit, Ella, and their friend watching the "Santa Show" while munching on the fruits of their labor.

Three different children. Three very different strategies. Stay tuned for the next post to see how it worked out for them.

Feel free to share your experience with proven successful strategies. (Or failed ones for that matter.)


vicki said...

I love terrorizing children with Santa. They can work it out in therapy later.

Alana said...

A level 3 sex offender that you bribe with milk and cookies into your home in the middle of the night no less!

Have you ever considered writing a book or something? Seriously. Reading your blog is so entertaining and nothing short of hilarious. You remind me of Dave Barry (until he enters the realm of the ridiculous that is.)

Hope you had a nice Christmas!

Jenni said...

Just to brag... Landry is not afraid of Santa. He happily sat on his lap three times this year.

JenM. said...

V- Who doesn't!?
A- Well, what level 3 sex offender doesn't love milk and cookies?
J- Landry of pretending to be Santa and having children sit on his lap fame. I am jealous. A friend of ours has an animated Santa that is about ten inches tall that climbs a ladder. The fun thing is that if you put him on the floor, he will walk. We thought we would see what Ella though of this. She didn't love it. Hysterics. So I guess that means that she would be terrified of Landry. I guess it's a good thing that we live thousands of miles apart!

Musicmom-Amy said...

We all know that Mia is secretly hoping for that REAL pony!! ;D Work it girl!

Jayme said...

You are so funny! I miss having you around :(

Tanya said...

You captured your kids' personalities so well!! And I did get a good Santa like chuckle reading it. It helps that I have my own belly full of jelly - or Mexican pizzas - whatever!

Alicia said...

I have a friend whose little girl is a week younger than Ella. She told me that it was her daddy who kept crying because he didn't want to sit on Santa's lap just for a candy cane. Perhaps Ella could try that strategy next year?!?

Card Family said...

oh my, I totally love reading your blog, and agree with Alana totally :D When I read well written/witty blogs it makes me realize my own inability to write wit... I am, and I suppose always will be just a poet...and i know

Kelly said...

Here's what Mackenzie did when I asked her what she wanted...she went to the computer carefully searched each item, copied and pasted a picture of the item and either what store it could be bought at or how much I would need to pay for it. Done. She was the easiest to buy for. On the other hand there was Kyla...
"I just don't know what I want, don't buy anything ugly." "Just get me things that will go on my body" I asked her if she wanted a body piercing she said eww that's gross. This is what happens when they become teenagers and the know who's "Santa".

Lewis Family said...