I have a request.
For all of the parents out there who can afford to buy their kids a zillion gifts for Christmas, please don’t tell them that they are all from Santa. Pick one or two to be from the Big Guy, and make the rest from you.
Because I’m dreading the day when my girls are old enough to realize that Santa only brings them one or two gifts when he brings your kid twenty. Because I don’t want them to think that they weren’t good enough. Because I don’t want them to wonder if they did something wrong. Because I don’t want them to be sad, thinking that Santa doesn’t like them as much as they like your kid. Because I don’t want them to feel hurt because of something so out of their control.
I don’t care if you want to buy your kid every new gadget that comes along, or the new American Girl doll and all of the accessories that come with her, or enough Lego sets to build a scale model of New York City. If you can do that, and you want to, go for it.
Just, please, let your kid know that they came from you, not from Santa.
I can explain to my girls that you make more money than me, so you can afford to buy more gifts for your kid. Not a problem. Easy-peasy. They will understand that. It won’t hurt them. It might disappoint them, but it won’t hurt them.
But if you tell your kid that all of that loot came from the North Pole, and your kid starts spouting off about how Santa brought them a giant princess doll house and all of the princesses to go with it, five new DVDs, a slew of My Little Ponies, and one of those awesome electric drivable Jeeps, and all that Santa brought my kid was a doctor’s kit and some plastic dinosaurs, how can I explain that?
How do I look into Laurel’s eyes and tell her that Santa brings the rich kids more stuff than he does the poor kids, even if the poor kids were really, really good? How do I try to make that fit with Ellie’s image of Santa as the great giver, the fair and generous patron saint of children? How can explain away that kind of unfairness?
Please, I’m begging you, don’t make me disillusion my children. Let the magic of the season last for them a little longer. Pick one or two gifts to be from Santa, and make the rest from you. My kids can understand socioeconomics. They can’t understand unfairness.
Thank you, and Merry Christmas.