The first year
The second year
This year was less scream-y as Little Man was placed in a little fire engine in front of Santa. I kinda wanted a total-freak-out picture with Santa out of the boy... but that's mean. (yeah, fine. I'm mean)
So here's this year's Santa picture:
If you ask me, Santa needs to go easy on the blush.
It's always good to have a Santa picture to use as negotiating leverage against sibling squabbles and mealtime hi jinx. Also, an email from Santa can really drive the point home. I can often be found using the phrase "Is santa putting you on the naughty list or the nice list right now?!" (the answer is usually THE NAUGHTY LIST- will not be one bit surprised to find coal in their stockings)
I could go into the new trend against Santa, but I am pressed for time before leaping out to take the sassy ones to preschool. In short- we do Santa because I remember the feeling of magic, of the surreal, the fantasy of Santa. I want my kids to have that same tickle in their stomach as they are tucked into bed on Christmas Eve. There is plenty of time to live in the "real world" where there is no Santa, no tooth fairy, no magic at all. Childhood is for pretend, for flights of fancy, for imagination.
So there you have my take on that. Am I scarring them for life? I hope not. But most likely, no matter how much I try and avoid it, at some point I am going to do something that they'll have to tell their therapist about in their 20's. Maybe I won't let them have $200 jeans, maybe (read: definitely) they won't get a new Mercedes when they get a driver's license, there are lots of ways to provide "growing opportunities" for children that they will, in turn, blame you for later in life. We'll still have the magic of Santa presents on Christmas morning.