That time my kid met Santa

We had grand plans to bring Margs to meet Santa for the first time this weekend. Last year, she was only a couple weeks old and we were so overwhelmed with having a tiny newborn that visiting Santa was the last thing on our minds. This year  Margs is older and we thought it would be a wonderful idea and something we’d like to add to our holiday traditions.


We waited in line for an hour. We passed our time watching this merry go round go round and round and round ( do you want to know how many times it went round and round in an hour? 33 times.) and eavesdropping on families as they discussed Santa wish lists with their kids.

Guys, there was what looked like a 5 year old who mentioned that his top 3 items included a laptop, an iPad and the new iPhone. I’m still wrapping my head around it.


Margs was too afraid to ride the merry go round. Instead she was quite content pointing at the reindeer as they went round and round and round. But, when an elf approached and asked her if she wanted a ride it became pretty clear she was uncomfortable with the whole situation.

When it came time to finally meet Santa, Mer and I had high hopes. I’d “prepared” by watching Christmas cartoons, reading Christmas books and showing her images of the big guy in the days leading up to the big visit.

Then, something like this happened. Margs started hyperventilating and crying so hard there were real tears and snot. It was an absolute mess.


Note: not my kid. This image was borrowed from here.

The rest of the day sucked too. She was overstimulated, tired and miserable. This led to her skipping a nap, not eating properly and being a hot mess until the wee hours of Sunday morning.

The verdict. Screw Santa.

I’ve already got some deep issues with the whole Santa comes into your home on Christmas eve stuff we feed our kiddos. Now, I’m really rethinking this whole “let’s visit a mall Santa” thing too.

Margs was horrified when Mer just handed her over to this strange man with a long beard and a red suit. The look on her face wasn’t just fear… it was absolute terror. She was downright terrified and I’m convinced her crappy nights sleep (waking up and letting out blood curdling screams) had to do with Santa flash backs or elf flash backs or reindeer flashbacks or some gross combination of all three.

Mer and I discussed this issue at 3 am. Yup, we were up at 3 with Margs watching Mothergoose club because she’d woken up for the third time and we needed to calm her down. Anyway, we both agreed that until our little girl is able to voluntarily agree to visit Santa we would not force her to meet him.

Our outing Saturday wasn’t for our kid. Instead, it was a way for us to live through her and create some sort of holiday memory that we thought would bring her joy. This parenting thing isn’t easy – sometimes we catch ourselves doing things we think she’ll like but then realize when it fails miserably that it was most likely something we wanted to do instead.

Moving forward – Margs decides. No more mall Santa for us until this little girl can tell me “Mama, take me to see the big guy”.


Leave a comment

  1. December 5, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    It is a lightbulb moment when you realise that you do the things with your kids that THEY enjoy, not what you think they should enjoy. Obviously we don’t celebrate Xmas but I realised a while ago, that when we had a free day, I felt under pressure to get everyone out early in the morning with lunch packed to “make the most of the day”. All that happened was that it was all very stressed and unpleasant and we still didn’t get out until later, with me feeling like a failure. Now, often we have stay at home days, and if we do go out “on an outing”, then we rarely get out before 11, and not that there isn’t any stress (because when is there not stress with children?) But it is much less pressured in my head.
    Do what works for your family and not what you think anyone else says you should be doing.

    • December 5, 2016 / 8:55 pm


      We need to do what feels and is right for our individual families. We have “inside days” often and we’re perfectly okay with it.

  2. December 5, 2016 / 9:28 pm

    Every year, I also say the same thing. Screw Santa. I actually admitted to my 12 yo daughter last week for the first time that he wasn’t real, and that I really don’t like him because of all the effort it takes. She knew he wasn’t real. She admitted I screwed it up a few years ago by leaving a letter she wrote him laying around where she found it. However, now she wants to wrap all of the Santa presents going to her brother. I may have to take her up on that!

    • December 6, 2016 / 1:38 am

      That’s really sweet of your 12 year old. I think it makes for a really nice tradition!

  3. December 8, 2016 / 9:21 am

    Oh no! But her happily waiting in line for an hour is impressive, Oscar is unimpressed with queuing to pay for groceries. Silver lining, and all!
    We’re taking Oscar to see his first Santa on Saturday, I’ve been keeping everything crossed for weeks that he’s okay with it.

    • December 8, 2016 / 9:23 am

      Good luck!! Some of the younger kiddos were just fine with it!

  4. December 18, 2016 / 9:55 pm

    I just wrote a santa blog last night!

  5. December 19, 2016 / 2:04 am

    Yeah… maybe in a couple more years.

    • December 19, 2016 / 9:18 am

      Maybe? We’re going to hold off until she’s able to ask us to visit.

Share your thoughts: