Okay, stop it! Enough, already!
I guess we need some rules around here, beginning and ending with, “Don’t make Santa Claus into a boogie man.” I know him personally and he’s the most gracious and loving human being you’d ever want to meet.
In the past week or so, since turkey carcasses began clogging our landfills, I’ve heard two mothers making a boogie man out of my dear friend, Santa B. Claus, which he maintains is properly pronounced “Klouse” as opposed to “Claws.” The B, by the way, stands for the same name as the B in “Johnny B. Goode.”
One mother, bless her heart, was overheard by me telling her child, whom I estimated to be around five, “Now remember, if you’re not a good boy in the store with Mommy, Santa won’t bring you as many toys as you want.”
Two things: First, that’s simply not true, which I shouldn’t have to explain. Second, the implication is that if said child doesn’t get every single thing he wants, he must have been bad in some nebulous way. Did he not get the life-size Mickey Mouse Personal Servant Robot because he snitched that one oatmeal-raisin cookie on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving? That sort of stuff messes with a child’s mind, good people! C’mon! One does not have to be a psychologist to figure that out!
The other mom, whom I encountered when leaving my default grocery store, was heard saying to her preschool child, who was struggling and screaming in her grip, “Santa is watching! Santa is watching!”
You can’t make this stuff up, although Charles Dickens came very close at times.
Regardless of one’s particular worldview, I think we can all agree that the Christmas/Holiday/Winterfest season is a time for joy, generosity, and kindness. More specifically, it is a season for treating children in keeping with the joyous presence they bring to a family gathering. Even when they act like immature little brats, their presence is to be cherished.
Besides, an adult who becomes aggravated at children who are just being children, which includes the potential, in each and every one of them, for immature brat behavior, needs a month-long massage of their emotions at a spiritual rejuvenation spa.
In conclusion, allow me to make one last appeal to common sense on behalf of my good and faithful friend, Santa B. Claus (remember that pronunciation thing): He is not a boogie man and should not be turned into one for the purpose of disciplining a child.
Ironically, however, Santa, being the humble fellow that he is and always will be, isn’t the least bit bothered when someone turns him into a boogie man. He leaves his public relations to people like me.
[Family psychologist John Rosemond: parentguru.com, johnrosemond.com. Copyright 2022, John K. Rosemond]