Monday, December 14

Luck, Duck, Santa

Back when I knew everything, I was convinced the whole Santa thing was a terrible, no-good idea. I figured that I didn't need some omnipresent know-it-all to keep my kid in line as she (or he or they) would listen to me just because I was the boss of the universe.

Go ahead, laugh.

Done now?

Moving on . . . so then I had a kid and you can probably imagine just how long the whole "Just Say No to Santa" thing lasted. I do have to give myself a little credit, though. I managed to make it over three years without whipping out the Santa Card. Then Alexis had a particularly jerktastic day at some point this summer and I grabbed myself a whole deck of Santa Cards and told her, "If you don't knock it off, Santa won't bring you any presents for Christmas."

Her reaction was so magical that I went out and invested in a whole case of those Santa Cards. Threats! With results! Fun!

Ever since then I've relied on that Santa Card when I was too lazy to come up with a real threat. It works every time because Alexis is scared to death that Santa will notice she's up to no good and will refuse to drop her Princess ball under the tree. (I know, the kid needs to figure out that Santa can do better than a Princess ball.)

We spent a good part of Sunday out Christmas shopping and included a stop in an area upscale mini mall (The Galleria for you nosy types ;-) ). It turns out that when you are surrounded with stores that charge a fortune for potholders and kids' clothes, there is an excellent chance that the mall Santa will come complete with a cheap suit and a really bad fake beard. As we walked past, we offered to let Alexis talk to him, but she was having none of it. Of course. It was sort of for the best anyway since she is going to be one of those kids who figures out the whole Santa thing way too soon. The really bad fake beard would have been quite the hint.

Since she didn't want to chat up the fat guy, we ducked into Panera for some unnecessary junk food. As we were standing in line, Alexis kept putting a disgusting germ-ridden glitter-covered keychain in her mouth, and I kept telling her to knock it off. Finally, as we were stepping back into the mall, I snatched the keychain from her mouth and shoved it in my pocket.

She wasn't amused.

She stomped her feet, summoned some crocodile tears, and started whining that she wanted her keychain back. I am deaf to whining, so I just kept on walking, letting her lag behind and continue on with her fit.

Then it occurred to me. We had just walked past Santa.

"Santa saw you being bad," I told her.

Alexis froze in her tracks, her face contorting into a look that clearly said she didn't know the exact curse word she needed, but it probably rhymes with "duck."

"No, he didn't," she attempted to argue her way out of the quandary.

"He's right there and he saw you being bad. Now what are you going to do?" I asked, fighting the urge to bust out laughing.

She stood silently weighing her options and then ran back to see if the Big Guy had indeed seen the error. Just as she laid eyes on him, he looked up and waved at her.

I nearly passed out trying not to laugh at the look on the kid's face. She knew she was screwed.

After some negotiations between Mr. Husband, myself, and Alexis, it was decided that I would tell Santa that Alexis had apologized for her bad behavior.

She's been an angel ever since.


  1. Best Christmas Story I've heard since Ralphie and his Red Rider!

  2. Getting to mess with your kids like that is payback for all the sleep you've lost. Well played.!

  3. Live it up now because at 7...Santa means squat hen it comes to behavior.

  4. You are evil..but in a good way. As a side note, my 7 year old still believes that I am close personal friends with an elf, whom I have on speed dial in case I have to rat him out to Santa.

  5. i'm telling santa that you fib!

  6. I'm loving the perfectly timed wave. Did you pay him to do that? ;)

  7. That is awesome. This year was a little too early for the Santa threat...Sabrina is just starting to put it all together (read: we are just spinning the tales to set the stage) but next year I'm all about the Santa card. Masters degree in counseling is nothing compared to the power of santa.

  8. So funny!!!!! It's awesome while it works.

  9. so funny! just thought i'd share this with you. One year my younger brother and i were bad. and not just bad. rotten. He's 5 years younger than me. At the time i was maybe 9. So he was 4. Santa was a big deal for him, and i knew he wasnt real, but kept up the game for him. My mom threatened time and again "santa won't bring you presents" we ignored this and kept fighting. All the way up until christmas eve (probably 3 days straight). Christmas morning came, we woke up, and ran downstairs. NO PRESENTS! We were in a panic. How could there be no presents?! So my mom said "look he left this" it was a white envelope, with our names typed on the front. We opened it and it was a letter from santa. Explaining that we had been terrible and would get no presents. (cruel right?) So finally after my brother and i cried for about a half hour, my dad went to build a fire in the fireplace in the game room and called us down stairs. All of our presents were in the fireplace, stacked neatly, with my mom standing next to them, arms crossed, asking if we learned our lesson.
    That's how my brother learned there wasn't a santa claus, and i learned that my mom was just mean.

  10. Excellent! I think I need to take the kids shopping tomorrow!

  11. Very well played indeed.

    I never really believed in Santa so my parents never got to use this on me. I'm not sure we'll keep the charade up long around here either but for as long as we have it (probably till the baby is 4 or so), I plan to use it as much to my advantage as I can.

  12. @Elaine--I would have happily slipped him $20 to wag his finger disapprovingly at her. He could have used the money to buy a better beard.

  13. That is the best Santa story ever. Good thing you blogged it so that you can regale her with it sometime in the teen years. When she has friends over. Or a boyfriend. Oh, the humiliation factor.

  14. M ~

    I freaking love you :-) That's AWESOME.

    We use Elf on The Shelf. I LOVE Elf on The Shelf and the fun of the kids with Elf on The Shelf.. Priceless.

  15. The whole crazy scenario makes a lot of sense when used as a threat against children.

  16. I won't use the Santa card. I remember a couple Christmases when I had done something wrong within a couple days of Christmas and I woke up Christmas morning worried that Santa would have left me coal.

    The teachers at daycare told the kids last year that Santa leaves coal if you're not a good listener. He asked hubby and I about it, and I told him flat out that is not true. I told him that Santa expects you to do your best, and he knows you do your best and he won't leave coal.

    The Santa part of Christmas is supposed to be wonderful and magical, and I've never understood attaching a "threat" to it. :-)

  17. I was just telling someone the other day that I totally get the beauty of the Santa threat now. Well used, BBM!

  18. My parents never did the Santa/Easter Bunny/Tooth Fairy thing with us. Every time I told someone that, they'd look at me like someone had just kicked my puppy, but I was totally ok with it. I had planned on letting Eva in on the secret too, that Santa wasn't real. And then I read this post and realized that I hadn't thought it all the way through. I'll be over here, reconsidering my decision....

  19. I bow down to you and your suprerior mommying skills. The Santa Trick works with Gracie...but Bee could give two flips. Le sigh.

    (Also? Alexis looks like a COMPLETELY different girl with her pigtails in!)

  20. This makes me so sad that my kids didn't believe in Santa. Giggles was too afraid of him. She totally saw past his holly jollyness to the seedy old man that he was, living with little people in a secluded place, watching little children and breaking & entering to eat all the cookies and drink all the milk.

    But my BF's kids totally believe and I have them convinced that I have Santa's number programed into my phone, I just have to scroll through the contact list before the oldest (who is 5) starts begging and pleading telling me she will be good. Mom I want to be good, please heather tell santa I am a good girl!

  21. *snort*

    I totally pulled the Santa card today. Said I was going to call him up and tell him exactly how bad BB was being. Isn't that amazing how it works?

  22. This is awesome! What an awesome thing he saw her at that moment. Isn't it great when things work out like that? We've been pulling that Santa card too this year, even though I said we never would.

  23. After a particularly snotty comment earlier today, D, age 5, commented nervously: "Santa probably just heard me, huh?"
    Santa is disciplinary gold that we are only just beginning to mine at our house.

  24. Priceless! I used to tell Skye if Santa caught her looking for her presents before Christmas, he would take them back to the North Pole. She was afraid to look in the closets for a month before Christmas. Santa Cards are literally small gifts to parents from Santa himself. (Hugs)Indigo

  25. We used the speaking into the air method of contacting Santa. Such as..."Santa, take one toy out of your bag for Maggie she was being mean to her brother." or "Santa did you see how well Maggie ate all of her food."
    Hey-it worked!

  26. Great story! Still debating whether or not to play the Santa card like this; we'll see. :-)

    I love the photo! So precious!

  27. funny !

    elf on the shelf.. i second that.
    i just guest posted for someone about
    santa - iscipline

    it's a good thing.. embrace it