As many of you who follow me on Twitter already know, this past Sunday I hosted an annual gathering at my house called ‘Supper with Santa’.
My dear friend and esteemed helper of the big guy himself finds time each year out of his busy Santa schedule to come and greet the children of my local friends, hand out candy canes, and eat supper with us. The kids love it, and it is a chance for me to celebrate the holidays with those closest to us, and they get some photos of their kids with Santa in a comfortable, familiar setting, surrounded by people and other kids they know rather than standing in line somewhere public with strangers.
This year, Santa and I were talking about a post he recently made on Facebook about pressuring parents forcing visibly distressed children to sit on his lap for photos, and I asked him to come here and write an open letter on The Boozy Housewife addressing this subject. I think this should be said, and who better to put this out there to parents than the man himself?
I make many Santa appearances this time of year, and get a lot of joy out of visiting with the children. I love to see kids light up when they get sight of me and share the magic of childhood.
However, I hate it when parents insist a crying child has to sit on my lap for a picture. I have no desire to be a part of causing stress for anyone, especially young children. Forcing a child to sit on a stranger’s lap conditions them to accept adults taking control of their bodies.
I firmly believe even infants have a right to say no about making physical contact with a stranger. Children need to learn from an early age “NO means NO!” Their body belongs to them, and THEY have a right to decide who touches them and who they touch.
Let the kid decide if it is OK to sit on Santa’s lap. If he/she refuses this time and no one forces the issue, chances are they will be willing at some point in the future. Force them and not only are you sending a bad message but also creating a negative memory that may make them fearful and even more reluctant to cooperate in the future.
The holidays are a time to celebrate. Let’s keep it a happy time for everyone, for people of all ages.
Merry Christmas from Santa Ho! Ho! Ho!
There you have it! I for one completely agree with Santa. I know you really want to get that perfect photo, but there will be other years.
You can contact Santa regarding this on his Facebook page by clicking below!
Thanks for reading, and have a happy holiday season!