For the past two years, I've felt this nagging sense of missing out when my Instagram feed starts filling up with kids visiting Santa. The photos range from sweet to hysterical (sorry, crying baby!), and I think to myself that maybe we should just pick a Saturday and do it. It's sort of like Winter's version of the Fall pumpkin patch on Instagram — if you didn't share a photo of your kid with Santa, do you even have a kid? 'Tis it really the season? And are you even a good parent?
Well, this year, I've finally decided to let it go. My daughter is not going to visit Santa Claus at the mall, and unless she ever asks to do it, she never will. There are a few reasons, some of them selfish, that I've resolutely decided this:
- My daughter is nearly 3, and I'm nearly certain she would f*cking hate it. She still doesn't totally understand Christmas, and she doesn't love strangers. If it's not fun for her, why do it?
- The lines! And the money! Are. Just. Not. Worth. It.
- It's honestly kind of weird. It's not like you're visiting the real Santa. It's sort of just a stranger at a mall.
I hold nothing against families that take their kids to visit Santa. I used to go as a kid and have the photos to prove it. But as I prepare to start seeing them in my Instagram feed again this year, I'm freeing myself of all guilt and pressure to follow suit. It's just not for me, or my family, and that's perfectly OK.