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#31 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 02:26 AM
 
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Our santa is a guy who works with my dad, has kids of his own and is a really nice guy - so not a stranger! Dunno who the easter bunny is though!

Ds cried the 2 yrs ago, so we waved at santa instead and wrote him a letter later, but last year he ran up there and had a full conversation about the bike he wanted with the guy (and was sooo happy when his Skutt showed up for christmas).

I only take him where I know the person in the costume has been checked out (like at the company christmas party or the mall where they do background checks), he just gets to wave at the costumed people that might be questionable (guy outside walmart or at the park party things)
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#32 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I also have a picture of my child crying on Santa's lap. I did not force him one bit - he wanted to go, was talking about it for weeks ahead of time, seemed happy to climb up on Santa's lap, and then started crying just as the picture was snapped. The next year, he tried again, and had a blast. And yes, he laughs about the crying picture now.

I know there are some parents who force the issue, but the picture doesn't always tell the whole story.
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#33 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 11:03 AM
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We were never forced-- we were totally into it. If we were scared of any dressed up characters (like at the mall or Disneyland) my parents would never force us. I can remember being scared and being allowed to stay far away.

My kid LOVES characters and you have to hold her back for her turn, so we do Santa and the Gingerbread Queen and the Queen of Hearts and all the characters at Disneyland we encounter... they should be scared of HER b/c if they have glittery costumes (fairies) she'll feel up their boobs .

I think forcing a kid to do something that's just for fun, making them cry, is just wrong, no matter what it is. Some mom made her kid cry at the park yesterday, forcing her to climb this huge tricky ladder. The kid was maybe 2-3. The kid said before they started NO, and started crying, and the mom manhandled her halfway up it, the girl crying the whole time. I know I don't know them, maybe she used to love it and had one bad experience and mom thought trying it again would get her over it? But man, I just did not see the point.
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#34 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I think I would just follow the child's lead, and if it was something he/she was enthusiastic about, great. Otherwise, I don't think I will care one way or the other.

I am pretty ambivalent about Santa because I was TERRIFIED of him when I was a child, to the point when I would freak out when seeing him in the mall, and even when that parody song "Santa Claus is watching you" would come on the radio. So my mom and dad told me that SC wasn't real when I was like 3. It came as a great relief, LOL. Therefore I don't have any attachment to the idea of SC. My mom preferred to stress the spiritual/familial elements of the holidays over the Santa/consumption stuff, anyway.

Amanda, livin' and lovin' in Memphis w/ Brandon & Eliza (8.15.10)! 6/2009.
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#35 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by St. Margaret View Post
I think forcing a kid to do something that's just for fun, making them cry, is just wrong, no matter what it is. Some mom made her kid cry at the park yesterday, forcing her to climb this huge tricky ladder. The kid was maybe 2-3. The kid said before they started NO, and started crying, and the mom manhandled her halfway up it, the girl crying the whole time. I know I don't know them, maybe she used to love it and had one bad experience and mom thought trying it again would get her over it? But man, I just did not see the point.
Well this is sometimes us at the park... DS loves the slide but has trouble with transitions (like outside to inside, playing to eating, etc.) so often you'll see him saying nonononoooo & whimpering as we go from the platform to sitting down. Once he sits down, he's happy, and loves going down the slide.

So I guess you never know, though I'd probably have the same thoughts you did if I saw what you saw yesterday!

I can totally see the same thing happening with Santa... the kid really wants to see him but she's afraid to sit & once she sits they snap the picture, her still crying? Then she'd happily talk to Santa? Guess we never know the whole story...

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#36 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 04:31 PM
 
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We do the Santa pictures most years (a couple of times, they've gotten lost in the shuffle). I'd never heard of the Easter Bunny pics until I came here. I'm guessing it hasn't caught on in Canada.
Oh my gosh, where we live now people are obsessed with these pictures. At Halloween, people get their kids pictures with a giant stuffed pumpkin. There are just oodles of holiday pictures. I mean, what's a childhood without a picture with a giant 4-leaf clover?

We don't do Santa. Most years we can find some free pictures with Santa that we'll do if the kids want because my mother seems to enjoy seeing them. I don't pay for them, though. I'm actually shocked at all of the Santa pictures they sell - mousepads, key chains, trading cards. Those get really pricey for something that just seems so fake in the grand scheme of things.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#37 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 04:38 PM
 
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Santa barely acknowledges the kid. It is just a quick hello and what do you want. But it is fast because they try and get the picture fast because kids dont have any patience. They take the pic no matter what your kid does because they are required to try and sell you something. I have never ever seen an inapporpriate Santa or anyone forcing their kids on his lap. In fact, half the kids I see sit on the bench or stand or on the floor.
What kind of mean Santas do you have? The ones here seem to talk, talk, talk to the kids. Though we don't do the mall Santa pictures - because I am *not* waiting in that line - they set it up next to the mall play area. The Santa seems to spend a couple of minutes with each kid. It's not "sit, smile, move on" kind of thing. I personally have seen quite a few parents force crying, stiff-as-a-board, infants and toddlers onto Santa's lap. It's as if the parent's desire for a fantasy picture outweighs the reality of the situation. I've even seen people yell at their kids or threaten to spank them for not smiling and enjoying Santa.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#38 of 38 Old 07-01-2010, 04:59 PM
 
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If you don't want to do it then don't. But why demonize people who do? I don't think taking pictures with Santa is any more bizarre than any other world cultural/religious custom (for example, shaving girls' heads when they turn two, eating fish soaked in lye and then reconstitutued, baking a cake with tokens in it zOMG CHOKING HAZARD!!!! for people to find for "luck", kissing a wall that millions of other people have kissed and unintentionally drooled on, burning someone in effigy while enjoying fireworks, ect).

Really, parents who get their kids' pictures taken with santa are grooming them for future sexual abuse?

Crying photos don't necessarily mean the kid was crying the whole time. To be honest with you, with three kids very close in age, we have a LOT of crying photos and normally it was because of bad timing--someone decided to poke someone/steal something/look at the other one funny right as the photographer's finger pressed the button. Oh well.

If you don't like Santa, don't get pictures. If you don't like pictures of crying kids (where you have no clue as to what the circumstance was--we are talking about toddlers and preschoolers here for the most part) then for heaven's sake don't look at those websites. There's no need to project your interpretations wholescale though.

That's just as silly as those people who think that there can't be <insert holiday here> WITHOUT <insert inane custom here>.

We've never done holiday photos with character of choice because I am cheap and there's nothing I detest more than having to wrangle three babies/toddlers/preschoolers/some combo thereof in a long line with a bunch of other overstimulated children and cranky parents. My parents were pissy with that decision, how dare I deprive them of that privledge--but...they got over it. (Or more correctly, they stopped wasting their breath complaining to me about it.) If other people want to do that, or if they have great experiences in the adventure of it all, I want them to go for it. Not my biz.

Now, to get back to my own hellish cultural ritual tomorrow nigh of going to an overpriced, fat-laden restaurant on the anniversary of one's birth and not only eating a meal that is not organic or slow food but also partaking in the bizarre ritual of having a bunch of uniformed, minimum waged total strangers sing a song for me and and present me with a corn-syrup heavy frozen dessert with a red "cherry" on top that is so laden with preservatives it could probably survive nuclear fallout. Oh yeah, with a shot of propellant laced "dairy like" product on the top too. Someone may even take my picture. I will not be smiling because I hate having my picture taken. If I'm lucky it will not end up on a website somewhere. ;> I am sure there is someone in the world right now that would think that is the weirdest thing they have ever heard of.
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