Reality bites

Or, as Mike the Heathen, who sent this, says: “Ho-ho-hold on a second:”

At the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan, would-be Jolly Old St. Nicks are being trained to help children downgrade their Christmas expectations. According to the New York Times story, the recession has resulted in:

…a Christmas season in which Santas — including the 115 of them in this year’s graduating class of the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School — must learn to swiftly size up families’ financial circumstances, gently scale back children’s Christmas gift requests and even how to answer the wish some say they have been hearing with more frequency — “Can you bring my parent a job?”

While I appreciate the notion that children shouldn’t view Christmas as a non-stop me-session (I don’t think children should be encouraged to make Christmas lists — unless those lists are the things they intend to make or buy others), there is something heartbreaking about telling a child “No.” And I say this as someone who, as a mother, was skilled at saying no — except maybe at Christmas. Maybe I’m getting soft. Or maybe I think the recession shouldn’t affect Christmas.

Published by datingjesus

Just another one of God's children.

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  1. It shouldn’t impact children but in reality it can. Parents of all income levels need to set realistic expectations of Christmas/Hannukah. Lists of giving and service opportunities would be a great start.

    1. And it’s not like we showered our sons with presents at Christmas, but I distinctly remember going into debt every year and figuring that was part of it.

  2. This is why my Dad stopped playing Santa…it broke his heart to see the parents shaking their heads when the kids asked for a present they couldn’t afford.
    And he was no softie, either! He LOVED to “help a kid change their expectations” for outrageous things: “Well, now, that would mean you’ve gone out of your way to do very special things…” No promises of ATV’s to young & rather bratty kids, even if the parents signaled “yes”! But, he KNEW many of the families, and many of the requests were only normal, fair ones from good kids who put up with a lot…some who’s parents had HIV. He was too touched, too many times.
    (Oh, but the stir, when my son & nephew went into a forbidden closet, & saw: “The Suit”! Remind me to tell ya the story sometime.)

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