YOU GUYS. I have just seen something on Facebook so offensive, so off-putting, so RIDICULOUS, that I’m a little out of control mad right now. “Jenny,” you may ask, “What could POSSIBLY have your knickers in such a twist? Is it blatant misogyny? Someone using the “R” word to describe a precious child with special needs? A crude meme?”
Why, no, my friends, it is not any of those horrible things. It’s a NEW horrible thing, one I’ve never heard of before:
It’s an apology letter that parents are giving their kids from Santa—because they can’t find the hot new toy their kids want for Christmas.
Yeah, that’s right. Parents are printing letters to give their kids from Santa explaining why they won’t find their heart’s desire under the Christmas tree even though they’ve been good little boys and girls.
Excuse me while I go BARF. While I’m off puking, please read exhibit A:
Looking for a Hatchimal for your little one for Christmas. Keep this letter from Santa handy just in case!
Ooh, this one’s a little dicey, parents. What if you can’t get a Hatchimal in January?? You’re gonna have to write ANOTHER Santa letter! One lie leads to another…how long will your little Snowflake buy this ruse? Better try THIS one instead:
Struggling to get a Hatchimal?
Santa has just released this very important official message….show the kids 👍
At least this giant lie doesn’t require you to make up another one, while still reassuring your little Snowflake that they can request something in the Hatchimal’s place because if they can’t get the Hatchimal they DESERVE by virtue of their existence, they should still be eligible for a super amazing replacement present.
Now that I’ve choked back my nausea, let me implore you, parents: please don’t make excuses for Santa. If you are SO afraid of upsetting your children, of them having any disappointments in life, that you’ll stage an elaborate ruse to shelter their tender feelings? YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG! If you’re delivering an apology letter from Santa to avoid a Christmas-morning meltdown, chances are you ALREADY have a problem with an entitled child, and it’s time to nip that stuff IN THE BUD.
As a parent who is raising her own little Snowflakes to follow Christ, I find myself constantly battling entitlement. My kids have served alongside me as we’ve helped kids their age who live in dire need, who don’t have their basic needs like food and shoes guaranteed to them. They’ve seen and acknowledged that they should be SO thankful for all that they have…and they still struggle. And honestly, so do I. So why should we make it even HARDER for them to fight this natural tendency toward SELF by providing a silly reason why they can’t get everything they want? It cannot be a win, it simply can’t.
Instead of making an excuse for why your kids won’t receive that gift they long for, try telling them that they can’t get EVERYTHING they want in life. If you start down the slippery slope of Santa-splaining, your kids are going to expect all their earthly desires to magically appear just because they want them—and if not, they’re going to expect A DARN GOOD REASON why their obviously valid GIMMES aren’t being met. YES, it’s realistic for parents to want to give their kids things that make them happy, but there’s NO reason to make them think they’re entitled to those things. Today it’s a Hatchimal, but tomorrow it may be an age-inappropriate smartphone or a video gaming system you simply cannot afford. What are you going to do THEN?
Moms and dads, entitled kids are going to turn into entitled adults who fall flat on their faces when they are faced with the very normal unfairness of life. The earlier they learn that you (and Santa) aren’t a desire-delivery service, and that things you REALLY want are worth WORKING for, the better.
So throw that letter from Santa in the trash and give that kid a chore chart in their stocking. Along with, you know, whatever else YOU think is an appropriate Christmas gift.