Why I Don’t Let Santa Take Credit For The Good Gifts

Like many, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. It got especially magical after I had kids. I can’t wait to see their little faces light up on Christmas morning with delight as they burst out of their bedrooms with anticipation to see if Santa actually came.

You know, the man in red with the jolly disposition and the mystical elves that make toys from scratch and report back to the North Pole every night fueled on “cheer”. The man who somehow manages to make it across the entire world in one night living solely off of milk and cookies and Christmas spirit.

I love Santa. I love the idea of Santa. And I love that my kids think that Santa is magic. It adds an extra element to Christmas that fills them (and me) with intoxicating excitement every year. What I refuse to play into is that Santa shows up with the expensive, hard to find gifts and mom and dad bring things like socks and pjs.

The concept surrounding Santa and his reindeer ALONE is one that I think brings hope and enchantment to kids lives during Christmastime.

If we can get them to believe that there is a human being in this world who flies with wingless, hooved animals (one of which has a light bulb on his face), who lives in a hidden land that you can’t find on a map and has an entire staff of tiny, pointy earred people who have not yet managed to go on strike for being forced into overtime and being overworked, and have to do it all in dangerous conditions of freezing cold and hyper active machines throwing paint and nails…. well, I think we’ve done our jobs getting them to believe.

Isn’t that enough?

I work my ass of every year to make sure my kids have a good Christmas. To make sure that they are delivered just as many presents as their friends and they aren’t lacking in all of the “hot items” that they desperately asked for. For a month straight I live off of coffee and evergreen fumes trying to scrape together pennies to bring my little ones the MOST joy I can on the mindblowing morning called Christmas. I become a ninja of gift hiding, wrapping, and assembling. On Christmas Eve, I morph into a woman who doesn’t need sleep, hydration, or daylight to survive and I spend HOURS setting up an entire display for my kids to enjoy when they wake up at the ass crack of dawn because… SANTA!

Did I mention I love Christmas? I really do.

It’s all worth it. It is. BUT, I will be damned if I am going to go through the hell of November and December’s lead up to the big day and let the fat guy in the red suit take all of the credit for the gifts that I had to fist fight someone over in Target because it was the last one on the shelf. NO. WAY.

I want my kids to have the magic of Christmas in their very own homes every year. But I also want them to appreciate the season for what MATTERS. Gifts are great. Getting gifts as a kid is one of the most exciting parts of Christmas, but plenty of kids DO NOT get gifts and if they do they aren’t nearly as cool, high tech, or expensive as some of the gifts my kids have gotten over the years.

How do I explain to my kids that some kids (the ones who really need the miracle) don’t get what is on their list from a man who theoretically brings presents to ALL kids that are good? Do I tell them those kids are bad? What makes those kids less deserving? Nothing. 

How do I explain that if we have had a year when money is tight that Santa suddenly doesn’t have the “disposable income” to supply the mountain of gifts he has in recent years? I can’t. Not without them losing some faith in the big guy. 

Plus, I’m trying to raise responsible and grateful humans who understand the value of material things and what it takes to make and spend money. Christmas happens to throw all of that out the window for the weeks leading up, and at least a good month after.

The holiday comes and suddenly they become entitled brats (albeit adorable ones) who deserve the world just because they exist because for weeks family and friends have been showering them with gifts. And that is WITH me giving the best gifts from mom. If they thought Santa brought those? I imagine the priveleged attitude they carry would be slightly worse, and last a little longer. 

It’s because of these reasons that my kids get the good presents from me. Call me selfish, but I want the credit. I want my kids to know that I worked hard to make sure that they got that one thing on their list they really wanted.

I want my kids to see that even though I might have missed a few important sports games or school events, it’s because I was working. Working to make sure we have a roof over our heads and our bills get paid and also so that I could do things like buy them the iPod they really wanted for Christmas. I want them to know that even when I was exhausted and stressed out I might not have seemed like it, but I was in fact listening to them when they mentioned a cool toy they had played with at a friend’s that they wish they had for themselves.

I want my kids to understand that Christmas IS magical, and there are TWO people that make it so. Santa, and ME. Maybe I’m a little self-serving, but I’ve noticed since I’ve started switching the tags around on Christmas and marking the extra special gifts from me, my kids have a new appreciation for their packages under the tree.

I have a better explanation for kids that may not get the same number or types of gifts as them or why our Christmas haul may vary year after year. And I don’t have to stress about remembering which gifts came from Santa and which didn’t when something doesn’t work correctly and I have to try to come up with some outlandish story about how I’m going to phone in to the North Pole to get a replacement.

If you ask me, the magic of Santa lies in my kids believing. Believing that there is someone watching them, rooting for them, willing to marvel them with his abilities every year because he loves little kids. He does it all in one night because he’s spectacular. And he brings things they will love and play with for the whole year (hopefully).

But the big ticket stuff, the gift that they requested for MONTHS, the one that cost a small fortune and will bring the biggest smile and the most thanks? That one comes from Mom. Move over Santa, I’m soaking up the cred over here. You already have a group of elves to do your bidding, I’m all on my own.

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2018’s Hot Toys Guide For (Sarcastic) Parents

Ho-ho-holy shit… Christmas is already here. Get ready to open your pocketbooks and express your undying love for your kids in the true American way, by buying it.

The halls are decked with all of your unpaid December bills because your kid NEEDED some goddamn toy that sold out in August and you’re not prepared enough to think ahead.

So here’s my list of the “hot toys” of the year, according to the interwebs, and why every kid (obviously) needs each and every one of these or else they will feel unloved and grow up to be psychopathic serial killers.

I’m not sophisticated enough to roast Pottery Barn like one of my all-time fave bloggers, Mommy Cusses. But I am brave enough to poke fun at average parents like me for the ridiculous hoops we jump through to dress our tree skirt with our kids’ deepest desires because some YouTuber told them they needed it.

So I hope you have a white Christmas filled with toys and entitlement while you hand over the mountain of crap you fist fought someone over on black Friday to snag off the shelves and save yourself $2 (let’s hope Santa isn’t watching over Walmart on November 28th).

Photo Credit: Amazon. Buy in-store or online for $25. Or you can find it on eBay from an independent seller for the low, low price of YOUR SOUL.

Fingerling HUGS – The adorable counterpart to last year’s Fingerling that comes in a plush variant. This one is much larger and therefore will cost FAR more when some asshole goes to Target and buys up the whole aisle of every color option so they can shamelessly poach desperate parents who got busy raising kids and didn’t get their Christmas shopping done early. Poor bastards.

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping
$14.88 for this hilarious choking hazard

Chow Crown Game – As if watching my kids eat isn’t annoying enough. Now I can experience them doing it in a “fun for the whole family” kind of way where food hangs in front of their faces, and they spit saliva, little chunks of leftovers, and the flu virus all over the house. Not only do we get to share the crown riddled with spit and soggy snacks, but we also get to share each other’s holiday plagues. It’s the season of giving, guys, and this one GIVES IT ALL. Make sure you have your phone ready to call 911 for this game night!

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping. $8 for the whole set. But the ER bill to dislodge this out of your tiny human’s windpipe will bring memories that last a lifetime.

Num Nom’s Snackable Cereal – While we are on the subject of choking hazards, let’s check out these adorable little treats! Wearing the guise of FOOD, they are meant to look like snacks with a face. As if looks weren’t good enough, they even come with a delicious, mouthwatering scent and a “milk” spoon. What kid wouldn’t want to put that in their mouth “just in case” it tastes as good as it looks? I forsee lots of urgent care trips after this year’s Santa unboxing.

Photo Credit: Good Housekeeping
This little guy is $32.99 and about 4 hours of insomnia when you can’t get this DAMN SONG OUT OF YOUR HEAD

Hot Diggity Dance And Play Mickey – If Pinkfong hasn’t completely ruined your sanity for years to come, this little darling will. He dances and sings a song just as catchy and obnoxious. You’ll be “hot diggity dog” dancing your way all the way to the behavioral health unit at your local hospital. Pro Tip: if your kids get one of these as a gift, remove the batteries. Mickey is fun enough all by himself.

Photo Credit: Amazon. These bad boys are cheap, but your carpet cleaning bill will not be.

Lost Kitties Blind Box – The best part about this one is it brings your child’s favorite part of YouTube right into your living room. As if finding them slathering their Barbie in your $80 attempt at reversing signs of aging on your face wasn’t bad enough, now you can SUPPLY them with the tools to completely destroy your carpeting while simultaneously unveiling hidden “surprises” that you’ll be stepping on for years to come.

Where’s the transgender Hatchibaby, Hatchimals????

Hatchimals, Hatchibabies – In a world of gender stereotypes this one really hits home. Is it BLUE? IT’S A BOY! Pink? You got a GIRL! I can’t even with this…. {insert a huge fucking eye roll here}. Someone please tell me I’m reading these wrong….

Photo Credit: Walmart. $25 to have every member in your house crumble to pieces over a piece of string. Literally.

Friendship Bracelet Makers – These seem to be all over the hot gift guides. It’s as if we aren’t born with the necessary tools to tie knots and create these with our own HANDS. These will set you back a meager price of $25, but think of the endless tantrums your six year old will throw when they realize they have no clue how to load this thing up with thin twine and it ends up in a giant knot? You’ll get plenty of post-holiday relaxation when you’re balled up in the fetal position wondering what evil Santa brought this thing in the first place.

Photo Cred: Walmart. $35 = a LOT of bacon. That’s all I’m sayin’.

Peppa Pig Fun Fair Playset – The world definitely does NOT have enough of this adorable, British speaking, two dimensional, swine version of Caillou. Can we get a Peppa Pig farm set? One with the means to turn this smug family into bacon once and for all? Sign me up for that. (But I’ll keep George. Something tells me he’s getting the short end of the stick).

Photo Credit: Fisher-Price. $30-40 depending on where you look. Seems like a solid deal to watch your kids throw cars at each other’s heads.

Little People Take Turns Skyway – I did not even have to read the description of this one to know that this is an absolute disaster waiting to happen. Because we all know, little people do NOT like to TAKE TURNS.

Photo Cred: Amazon
$180 seems reasonable…. for an iPhone.

{Insert You Kid’s Favorite} Dreamhouse – YES! A miniature version of the home my kids know and love to destroy. I might hand it over to them equipt with goldfish crackers crunched up in the couch cushions, a dried puddle of something sticky on the floor, and a handprint smear (or seven) on the walls. Maybe I’ll make sure to load washer with a mildew stench and the sink full of dirty dishes for good measure. I’m all about making Christmas as magical and realistic as possible.

Photo Credit: Walmart. A $14 hilarious depiction of my everyday life.

Don’t Step In It – A board game where you and your family take turns blindfolded trying not to step in a fake pile of dog shit. My kids and I play this game all summer, and again in the spring. Except we do it like the badasses we are and we aren’t using any fake shit, we use the real deal. Also, we aren’t blindfolded. It’s just camouflaged by inches of grass and weeds that desperately need to be cut. I think I’ll save my money on this one and wait until the snow melts…

There you have it, folks. This year’s top toys and every reason why you absolutely cannot pass these bad boys up.

Don’t forget, it’s important to shower your kids with gifts in December so that the rest of the year they can act like entitled brats who expect you to give them the world. Because tis’ the season to focus on material things, yo.

Can’t you hear those sleigh-bells ring-a-ling alongside your racing heartbeat waiting for the annoying alarm of the chip reader yelling at you to remove your card?

APPROVED! (Phew, that was close).

Merry Christmas, Mamas!

If you enjoyed this check out some of my other humor pieces here:

The “In” Grocery Store Came To My Town – And I HATE IT 

5 Things I Learned About Dating Apps – A Cautionary Tale

Every Mom Has A Favorite Child

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