One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Santa’s Got a Broken Lap

Today we visited my in-law’s ward for their Christmas brunch. Almost the whole clan showed up. After the delicious food we all sung Christmas carols. But the grand finale was yet to come. After the closing prayer, the big rocking chair was brought out onto the stage. Oh, yes, the excitement was building. All three of our girls were wearing their red Santa dresses in anticipation of this very moment.
With a mighty “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Santa came bursting through the rear doors of the cultural hall. Yippee! Hurray! Annie and I pointed out the jolly old man to the twins. We watched their faces to see their reactions. Both of them said, “I don’t want Santa.”
Why is it that parents keep thinking their kids like Santa Claus? It seems like it isn’t until they are ol
d enough not to believe in him that they actually stop being scared of him. We knew our girls would cry, but we got in the sit-in-Santa’s-lap line anyway. Was this a Christmas celebration, or a child torture event? Here is a picture of me trying to talk the girls into sitting on Santa’s lap.
Even that seemed weird. Do I really want to start the practice of talking my precious daughters into sitting in strange men’s’ laps? Then, just to top it off, Annie informed me that Santa had bad knees, so he couldn’t have any of the big kids actually sit in his lap. Our Santa had a broken lap?
I was annoyed at first. But then I thought, Hey, why should he be put out of work? If he goes through all of the effort of keeping a snowy white beard year round, and showing up looking festive and jolly, then he has every right to be Santa.

As it turned out, both the girls sat in Santa’s lap – they were small enough, and he was a good sport. Genna did so quietly, watching her mom the whole time.
Kate took the most coaxing. After three seconds she turned to me, and said with a smile that showed she was near panic, “I’m all done now.”

We all had a really fun time. But it has made me start rethinking some of our Christmas traditions.

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