You better watch out, you better not exclaim, you better not … let Santa get the credit for the expensive toy you buy your kids for Christmas?
The holiday season — and Christmas in particular — isn’t just for children, after all. A plenty of us parents get pretty excited about get a chance to induce our kids’ eyes light up when they open their endowments under the tree. It’s one of only a small handful of times a year where we’re not only permitted, but promoted to splurge, spoil, and invest whatever we can on them.
If you have the means to do that, that’s great! Good for you.
But Megan Dunn, a social worker from Owensboro, Kentucky, says there’s a really powerful reason mothers may want to consider making sure their kids know that their endowments — especially expensive endowments — came from them, and not Old Saint Nick.
And no, mothers, it’s not so you can take that exaltation for yourself.
So why does Dunn indicate mothers let Santa take credit simply for the less expensive gifts?
“I can not stress this enough. STOP TELLING YOUR SANTA AGE KIDS THAT THEIR IPADS, AND IPHONES, AND 200 DOLLAR TOYS ARE FROM SANTA, ” she wrote in an impassioned, caps-laden Facebook post.
“CAUSE SOME FAMILIES CANT AFFORD THAT. LITTLE KIDS WONDER WHY THEY GOT SOCKS OR A COAT OR HAND ME DOWN TOYS FROM SANTA AND OTHER KIDS GOT AN IPAD.”
The emotional toll that this kind of comparing game can take on kids and their parents is devastating, Dunn explains. It’s not just that kids get jealous that Santa brought their friends fancier or more expensive toys — it actually induces them feel like they did something wrong and that maybe Santa doesn’t like them.
The effect can be crushing.
The full post, which you can read below, speedily went viral, and now has been shared virtually 100,000 times.
“Children view Santa as this person they can ask for whatever they want so long as they have been good, ” Dunn explains in a Facebook message.
“They wait all year to ask Santa for that one gift because even if they realize they are poor, they truly belief Santa has no restrictions or socioeconomic status. When they wake up on Christmas and discover they have not been given that endowment they are heartbroken.”
Thousands of remarks of support have poured in responding to Dunn’s message. But more than a few folks have conveyed annoyance at being asked to build compromises on the way they do Christmas or talk about the magic of Santa with their kids.
“I am not ruining the sorcery of Christmas and Santa for my children because others can’t afford it, ” one angry parent wrote.
Still, the discussion has inspired something truly wonderful: Since Dunn’s post moved viral, gifts have been pouring in for her to pass on to the families in need that she works with. She’s received close to $10,000 in gifts so far.
It’s important to note that Dunn isn’t saying you shouldn’t buy your kids whatever gifts you want or can afford. She’s just asking to consider a simple tag swap on some of the pricier items.
“People can and should buy their children whatever they chose and I would never say otherwise, ” she says. “I simply asked that the expensive endowments say ‘from parents’ and not from the ‘almighty Santa.'”
So the Xbox One X or the iPad or the new laptop is from the folks, and Santa can take all the credit he craves for those wool socks. Easy, right?
It’s one of those tiny gestures that doesn’t take much, but could make a big impact on another family this vacation season.