The Nonchalantdad: Santa Meltdowns !!

We are about to take our kids to see the one and only, the BIG man, the man who get's things done, the saviour of all humankind..... No, I'm not talking about our next President. I'm referring to Mr. Claus. When we first started with this ritual about 5-6 years ago, we had no idea that visiting Santa would be so traumatic. Our son, the oldest, was always eager to see the guy - our only problem with him was that he saw him everywhere and would always ask us why Santa not only looked a little different each time, but how he could get to be in so many places so seeminly quickly..... clever guy. It wasn't until last year that we first became initiated into that group of people who deliver their children to Santa, only to have the child freak out.... of course, for all to see! You can try what you like - ply the little one with candy beforehand, prepare them with pictures of Santa, talk to them soothingly, tell them how exciting it all is, stand on your head while jingling bells, jump around trying to coax them while wearing a funny hat, sing songs, lay at their feet while you beg them, or just plain bribe them..... you'd be lucky if it works. But, if you even for a second thought you were alone in that group of distracted parents, you aren't. It would appear, like global warming, the numbers are much larger than you anticipated. There are just so many many many kids out there who equate a visit with Santa, especially when they first see him sitting there, with the plague.

And, imagine, it is very intimidating - especially when your mother and/or father start jumping around like idiots waving candy canes and singing Jingle Bells, imploring the child to think of Grandma and how happy she will be to see the picture. Personally, when it happened to us last year with our little girl, I found it quite amusing actually - I accepted it as a fact and instead of trying to dissuade her, we just moved things along a bit faster and did not pretend to try and make her look happy. But, I think we knew that over time, that photo, perhaps moreso than the ones of her smiling with Santa, might be the one we remember the most fondly!

There was a bit of a dispute around Nonchalant Mom about whether I should be allowed to poke a bit of fun at ourselves and old Santa by showing you some pictures of shocked or crying kids on Santa's lap. There were those who thought it did not represent the spirit of Christmas in a good light and thought it in bad taste. But, there were those, like me, who thought it might be fun to share with others - especially if you have experienced it yourself before, or just needed a bit of a light-hearted laugh during this troubling time! Anyway, you can always voice your opinions in the comment section to let us know what you think.... and you might. You might also want to share with us a photo of your experience - and if this is the case, just send it along to ideasnonchalantmom.com and we will post it. But, you better move fast, time is running out!

And, however much we feel sorry for our own children at this time of year, being 'forced' to sit on the bearded-man-with-the-funny-red-hat-on guy's lap, let's give a little nod to the many kind people out there that must do this several times each day, or even hour. I've seen some tough jobs... but. From looking at the many photos I've found of crying or perplexed kids, it is rare to find a Santa not trying to keep a stiff upper lip. I'm just not sure, if I were the Santa doing this all day long, if I wouldn't keep a little coal under my chair....know what I mean? These are highly trained individuals I imagine - trained in some of the best facilities our government has to offer!

If you are like me, and would like to have more a laugh - well then, I have found a site (one of many it seems!) devoted to a huge array of similar Santa Meltdowns. Actually, I'm surprised at what a phenomenon it seems to be....... strange isn't it. And, oh yes....the official disclaimer: I can tell you confindantly that no children were harmed in the making of this little story! And, if you want to share in more images just click here.