Monday, January 21, 2008

(Some) Parents jus' dont understand

With a little over a week left at Santaland, I thought I'd impart to parents and guardians some wisdom I have gleaned from my time elfing.

If your child is crying, dispondent or otherwise non-plussed when he/she is waiting for Santa, finally laying eyes on the red man will RARELY change this. And forcing your child to sit with Santa when they don't want to is one of the cruelest, dumbest things you can do this holiday season.

Just imagine please: when was the last time you stood an hour in a line with your loved ones waiting for some presumed big experience (seeing a doctor or priest for example), and then once in the room were subjected to every one of your closest family members turning and barking orders at you about how you should respond to the situation.("Smile!" "Don't you have anythiong to say?" "We waitied all this time, etc. etc.") It is ridiculous how quickly parents let an awkward moment for their child turn into a nightmare by piling on more pressure with their demands. Some Santas will simply refuse to sit with an upset child whose parents are forcing the issue. The last thing Santa wants is for a child to be traumatized by their meeting. There is always next year.

This isn't to say that upset children don't take photos or that kids who are excited to see Santa won't lose it once they get to the doorway (many do). It's fact that sometimes upset childrten can calm down enough to take a picture. Some key details of such transformed visits.

1) PArent will sit with child and Santa for the first photo, then, if things look better, may step aside so the second photo can be just Santa and kid.
2) SOme Santas will produce their special santa gift earlier than usual in the visit in an effort to win the child's trust.
3) PArents who do sit with upset child and Santa will angle the child toward the camerA in such a way that they do not have to lookat Santa.
4) A kick ass Photo Elf like myself will time the photo for the exact moment when the child needs to interrupt their wailing in order to catch their breath. The face at such a moment can, with the right light and luck, almost look like the kid is laughing with Santa.

Another thing: don't ask the elves or Santa to let your child know they have been bad. Unless they are acting like idiots during the minutes that they will be with Santa, we simply don't have time to care. If you cannot parent your child without manipulating them, fine. Just don't expect us to be a part of it. Your kid is a jerk? Well they had to learn it from somebody, and judging from the way some of you act in line, maybe your kid isn't the only one on the naughty list.

Oh, and this is key, too: your kids and all of the other kids around you in Santaland? They LISTEN. The difference between them and you is they are not stupid, and they hear you, even if you think they don't. So if you want to start asking questions and theorizing about the realities of Santa while in Santaland, know that we elves have been instructed on how to tell you to shut up and not be an asshole. it sounds like this:

There is only one Santa Claus.

Finally, (And I'm only stopping here because I'm tired. I could go all night)... no one is happier than MAcy's Department Store that you have come to let us take a picture of your child with Santa. But for Gods sake, let your child sit and talk with Santa for a minute. IF Santa is in a rush, he'll handle it. Otherwise, don't try to usher your kids out as soon as the flash goes off. There are toys to discuss. And school grades

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