F**k Santa Claus

Let’s Be Frank: The Diary of a Divorced Gay Dad

Okay, so I love to be the parent that says what all the other parents are thinking, and I have a big festive message to Santa Claus from all of us: SCREW YOU FOR TAKING CREDIT FOR THE MONTHS OF SPECIAL GIFTS I HAVE ACCUMULATED FOR MY SON.

*breathes*

But seriously. How many of you feel “back-burnered” when Christmas Day comes and you witness your kids repeatedly saying “Thank you Santa!!” as they open present after present that you carefully chose? I do every year. And I’m not a Grinch, don’t get me wrong – I love Christmas and Santa Claus and the mythology and all of that. But it hit me that since our kid was a baby, we’ve been doing Santa incorrectly, and this year I fixed it.

As you could probably guess, Santa Claus is making two visits for my son this year. I have him today, on Christmas Eve, and then I am dropping him off tonight so he can wake up and be with my ex-husband on Christmas Day. I’m okay with it. It changes every year, and this was my year to have him the day before. Santa Claus hit my house last night and will swing by my ex’s house tonight. Taking all of that into account, I realized that our son would be swimming in toys this year, and there was an opportunity to make some changes.

In previous years, the Christmas tree would be almost completely devoid of gifts until the actual morning of Christmas. The shock and surprise in Briggs’ face is permanently burned into my memory, as it was the most beautiful thing to observe. He counted the gifts and proudly boasted “Santa brought me 30 presents!” as we stood there gritting our teeth. It didn’t matter, because at the end of the day Briggs was happy, and the illusion of Santa Claus was real. That was all fine and dandy when we were a traditional non-traditional family, but clearly I had to get creative this year so I implemented a new strategy:

  • I first explained what Santa Claus does for kids with two different homes – he makes two trips.
  • I then inquired what he would like to get from Santa Claus, and aided him in searching for a few gifts he could ask for.
  • Once we got to Santa’s lap, he recited his list to him, unknowing that seconds before, I purchased several of the toys on Amazon while waiting in line.
  • On the car ride back, I explained that he would be getting a lot of gifts from me and then also his gifts from Santa. At this point, the tree was still bare.
  • I dropped him off to my ex-husband’s house for the weekend, per our custody agreement.
  • I wrapped all of the gifts that are from me and placed them under the tree.
  • When he came back to my house, he had the same shock and surprise at all of the gifts, but this time he knows they are from me AND he is getting a visit from Santa to add to the pile.
  • Mission complete – the gifts he asked for from Santa are kind of lame and when he opens his Nintendo 3DS from me, he will be thrilled.
  • Does this sound selfish? Am I going overboard with this whole thing?? I actually don’t think so. I think this is a good idea and also a nice way to essentially ween him off the inevitable – when he finds out Santa Claus is a fraud. This is my way of standing up and letting my son know that I am very capable of choosing thoughtful gifts for him. I think it’s healthy.

    Santa Claus no longer needs to be a God in my house around Christmastime. He’s now just this cool magical dude that supplements presents with specific requests. Yeah, I knocked him down a few notches, but my son is 6½ so within a year or so, some kid will blab the truth. Maybe he won’t be as let down as he would have been before. It might not be as soul-crushing now, because he’s less of a deity.

    I’m not writing this as a suggestion, it’s merely my funny response to this ever-changing family dynamic. I seized the chance to flip things around a little bit, and my son is thrilled nonetheless. And let’s face it, he will be getting double the gifts he usually does because we are a compensation nation. If there was ever a year to spoil my son, it was this one. Happy Holidays to all, and remember, f**k Santa Claus!

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