The annual trip to visit Santa during the holidays is a staple for many families. It's kind of the best, right? I mean, your kid gets to sit on a jolly fellow's lap, tell him their dearest wish, and enjoy a candy cane while you get an adorable picture out of the deal. What's not to like? Well, there's the crying and abject terror and the stress of the whole damn thing. So, as a parent you have to brace yourself for the emotional stages of taking your kid to see Santa.
When I was little, my mom always took us to see Santa Claus, but what I remember most is how much I loved Mrs. Claus. So, I knew it was a tradition I wanted to continue with my children. For her first Christmas, we took our 7-month-old daughter and niece for Santa pictures with the best Santa Claus in town (I'm all about the real beard). The photographer waved a light-up wand, and the girls were entranced. Easy peasy, and totally adorable. Naturally, I assumed that taking my toddler to see Kris Kringle this year would be a piece of (fruit)cake. *Cue laughter from experienced parents everywhere.* This Christmas, my daughter gave Santa a big, emphatic, "Nope."
Many parents are opting out of the taking their kids to see old St. Nick. They have their reasons (he's a stranger, he sits on a throne of lies, it's traumatic), but I've decided to keep this custom up, for now. You have to take the bad with the good. So join me, if you will, in the terrible, wonderful process of taking your kid to see Santa.