Santa turned my kid into a crackhead!

by Janelle Hanchett


So…you know what’s worse than disagreeing with somebody’s opinion on the latest parenting controversy?

Realizing you don’t have an opinion on the issue because it never occurred to you to give a shit.

Um, yes.

That’s where I stand with the whole Santa controversy.

[And yes, there is a controversy, friends. And it’s a big one.]

Well, maybe not that big, you know, compared to like world hunger or something, but still. It’s pretty big. Big enough to warrant at least 9 thousand blog posts and Facebook discussions.

Some people, evidently, think he’s creepy. Like pedophile creepy. Something about old man, kids on laps, bribing, etc. Mmmmkay. I’m not going into this. Next topic.

Others “can’t stand lying to their kids that way.” Oh come the fuck on. You don’t lie to your kids? Whatever. YOU DO TOO. “Mommy, what were you and daddy doing last night after we went to bed and I heard those sounds coming from your room?” “Um, uh…we were…um…reading the Communist Manifesto. Loudly. In intervals.”


Some people hate the materialistic part of it all. You know. Gifts and crap and whatnot and rewarding good behavior with stuff and bad behavior with, well, stuff. I suppose I can sort of get behind that one except that I can’t, because I like showering my kids in crap from Walmart and I often resort to bribing them. I mean I try not to, cause that’s some seriously shitty parenting (so they say), but when I’m in a bind, I’ll go there. I will.

And we’re all still breathing.

And then other people love the fantasy and play of Santa and think it’s all magical and shit.

But check this out. The only thing that crossed my mind as I read all these passionate diatribes for or against the fat gift-wielding man was “Uhhhhhhhhhhhh…(blank space and stares)….oopsy! Forgot to think about that one!” And…Guess that’s one more parenting approach I haven’t considered at all and thanks A LOT for making me wonder if I have damaged my kids ONE MORE TIME in ONE NEW WAY because I didn’t make a conscious decision about Christmas traditions but pretty much just continued the traditions of my family with no forethought, insight or contemplation.

Yes, I admit it.

I have not deconstructed Santa.

I have not considered the implications, insinuations, assumptions or underlying messages contained in the gift-giving crap extravaganza that is our Christmas. I like it. It’s fun. That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

I did not consider the long-term effects of my lying about who deposits stuff under the tree. I pretty much just did it.


My bad.

But I’m gonna level with ya. If my kids end up hating me for being a crap parent with poor ideals and pitiable execution, I can promise you it won’t be over the whole Santa thing. I have done so much worse than that.

My yelling alone pales the threat of any long-term Santa-induced trauma.

Easily 5 years of therapy material right there.

And then there’s my mouth and the incredibly poor decision-making surrounding it. For example, last summer I told my (then) 5-year-old son about bears and “friendly” ghosts (look, it’s a long story and it’s complicated.). But really. Who the hell does that? That was a baaaadddd choice.

I didn’t think about it beforehand. I MADE A MISTAKE.

So you can see why I’m just gonna let the whole Santa thing go.  Other people can worry about that sort of thing.

I have much bigger fucking fish to fry.

For example, figuring out how to not tell my kids stories that scare the crap out of them for a year.

Or really, thinking before I talk at all would be nice.

Now THAT would be a gift.

And I don’t care who fucking brings it. Incidentally, I don’t think my kids would either.

Maybe Santa will hook that up next year. He is real, isn’t he? He better be. My mama told me he was. And she never lies! She said he WAS REAL! HE MUST BE REAL! Why are you looking at me like that? Did she lie? Did the evil bitch LIE TO ME ALL THESE YEARS about Santa Claus? Oh agony! Oh pain! I CAN’T FACE MY LIFE NOW THAT I KNOW MY MOM TOLD ME A STORY ABOUT AN IMAGINARY MAN, CHIMNEYS AND GIFTS.

I shall not recover!

My inner child is weeping.


Okay that was fun.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

  • Alycia

    The whole Santa thing…whatever. I tell my kids that Santa brings them presents. (He doesn’t get to take credit for the good ones, though) My parents told me that Santa brought presents to us and I honestly don’t even remember when I found out he wasn’t real. I bet it was one of my brothers that told me, but I’m not a crazy, messed up, whackjob of an adult because of it.

    I don’t make them sit on Santa’s lap, because that’s a whole other long response and I don’t trust that creepy Santa with he fake beard doesn’t have an alternate agenda…but that’s just me. And that has nothing to do with the real spirit of giving, and fun, and excitement, and innocence of Christmas morning.

    When my daughter goes to Kindergarten next year and some kid tells her Santa isn’t real, we will sit down and talk about it and it’ll be ok. Until then, though, I’ll use the hell out of some Santa threats to keep her in line, get her to pick up her toys, and even get her to pick up her little brother’s toys. There’s nothing wrong with it. You use what you’ve got, right?

  • sherilinr

    isn’t it funny how some people get all worked up about stuff that we didn’t even bother to consider?
    my take on the santa thing is that i want my daughter to be appropriately thankful to the people in her life who love her and who work hard and think deeply about the gifts they give her. i want her to know that it’s us, her family, who needs to be thanked, not herself for her good behavior.
    but i don’t care how anyone else celebrates. they’ve got the right to do it anyway they want to, so i’ve forbid her to ever tell another kid that he’s not real & so far i haven’t gotten any angry phone calls from other parents so maybe she really listened.

  • The UDG

    I remember my mom and I having a discussion about Santa when I was little. We talked about how Santa helped represent good will toward others, a reminder to think about someone else during Christmas. I read the letter to “Virginia” every year and still get choked up. I’m pro-Santa and I’m not afraid to admit it!

  • Genia

    My kids are 2 and 4, and believe in Santa .. and I agree if one day kids at school tell her “he” is not real, then we will talk about it then. Christmas is about the birth of jesus and spending time together as a family, not about all these “presents” and such. 🙂

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  • Julie

    My daughter’s friend told her there was no Santa, and the authority for that statement came from the friend’s mother. That mother was one of those who think it’s wrong to ‘lie’ about Santa.

    I told my daughter, that her friend’s mother must have had to tell her there was no Santa because he never came to to their house, maybe she was a bad little girl…

    Heh… I got a nasty phone call from that mother… but my daughter’s logic was unassailable, and the non-believer was in the minority.

    No, I didn’t feel bad, I felt like that mother was deliberately ruining other children’s fun… and she got what she deserved.

  • JL

    Don’t our kids have enough IMPORTANT shit to worry about other than whether or not Santa Claus is real?

    My kids are grown and neither one of them remember exactly how they found out that he wasn’t real. But we did try to keep them believing in the “magic” as long as possible.

    I don’t remember when I found out and neither does my husband. I’m gonna have to go with the logical assumption that it’s not that big a deal in most NORMAL kids’ lives.

    IMM, this falls into that “do-what-you-want-with-your-lie-but-stay-out-of-mine” category.

    Another good post, thanks

  • Jo Eberhardt

    Good on you.

    I’m one of those “I don’t lie to my children” mothers. (I know, I suck.) And yes, I did blog about how I don’t tell my children Santa’s real.

    But I 100% support anyone who goes with the Santa story. It’s not screwing up your kids, it’s not doing any damage, and I don’t really think it’s a big deal. Different people have different traditions, and that’s okay.

    I’ve made it very clear to my son that he’s not to tell anyone else that Santa isn’t real. And he hasn’t. Because it’s incredibly rude and mean to tell someone that their imaginary friend isn’t real.

    • renegademama

      You don’t suck. This blog is purposely over-the-top and sarcastic (as I’m sure you’ve figured out). And thanks for the positive comments. I appreciate them. Welcome to the blog!