Wednesday, December 24, 2008

58 - 'Using' Santa for a mere photo

Alright, everyone's heard of the same old rant before. A kid is sitting on Santa's lap. Oh, it's an old, pervy man who wants kids to sit on his lap. Oh, it actually encourages kids to be personable in front of strangers. Oh, it's weird, and there's nothing really cute about it and parents force their kids to plant their asses on this old guy's lap just for a picture, so that when the images have developed, they can look at them, reminisce over the good time they had the mall with Santa and say a load of bullcrap like, "Maybe the picture will be better next year" or "This was so funny when little Torey was crying like that!"

But I'm not going to talk about that. Everyone already hates Santa and thinks he's weird. He climbs down our chimneys, he kisses our moms, he eats our cookies and drinks our milk.

I'm going to sympathize for Santa, today.

So, I was walking in the mall yesterday and saw Santa sitting on a throne on a large red podium. Kids and their mothers were all queuing for a turn with Santa and there was something off that just irritated me.

Here in Hong Kong, the meaning behind the most sat-on lap in the world is long forgotten. All parents want to do is to hurl their children at the poor fellow in the Santa costume, take a picture and scoop up their kids with a
rushéd "Bye Santa!" and that would be all. I hate to be stereotyping but Chinese mothers always, always want to take photos of things that just aren't worth capturing when the subjects aren't happy and when the backgrounds are not scenic or inspiring. Hong Kong mothers want to snap away at their kid with the Santa-costumed man, but I don't think many of their kids have actually talked to Santa about what they want for Christmas.

In a way, it's good, because I think the whole concept of Santa is extremely unbelievable and unbelievably extreme. Using Santa's Good Kid & Bad Kid list to enforce good behavior lacks a bit of authenticity for most children who are ever-so-intuitive, and it's a method of discipline that is short-lived only around the holidays and for the parents, is difficult to use effectively, as well as control and maintain.

But if your kid believes in Santa and if you
must use him in your parenting, let the kid talk and don't just throw him on Santa's lap, snap the pretty picture and then whisk the kid away. Consider Santa's feelings. Santa wants to talk. It bugs me when both the helpless kid and the helpless Santa are forced to smile in front of a lunatic mother with a camera.

But mothers can do anything to their own children if they wanted to. On the flip-side, you can't treat Santa that way. Santa's have worn this costume for the benefit of hundreds of mothers. They slave and they sacrifice, one child at a time every day. Be more considerate.


For a collection of creepy Santas, visit Alan's blog, Robot Nine, for a post with images of scary Santas.

For even more images of kids refusing to take a photo of Santa, I encourage you to click here for an entire photo gallery that displays photographs in the hundreds.


I'm going on holiday on the 26th!

What happens to the blog, you ask?

Well, I have prepared posts for the next few days while I'm gone and they are all set to be published automatically. One post per day, just the way you like it. Do you sense how much I love you all?

Just in case any of you miss my holiday messages on my other blog on Christmas Day and New Year Day, I wish you all a snowy (or foamy) Christmas that will hopefully include a lot of awesome food and bonding with the people close to you. I've certainly loved sharing everything that I have here on blogspot with you and it goes to show that hatred need not be a bad thing at all.

Enjoy this last week of 2008, you deserve it after such an eventful year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Vulgar Red Pullover said...

A good read . It just seems so artificial, with a guy in a Father Christmas outfit sitting on a throne in a modern mall, with all of the 'mall sounds' as I like to call them.

Do you them 'Santas little helpers' aswell? In the green outfits? We have that in a mall near where I live. The whole shindig is called 'Santa's Grotto'. :)

Mulled Vine said...

Did you notice how Santa seems to be in more than one place at a time? I don't know how he does that, do you? I hope he brings you everything on your list this year.


Michael said...

Stuart: I strayed away from hating Santa in this post, but I guess nobody is forcing me to contain myself. It appears to be very unreal. There were 'hot girls' dressed as elves. It looked rather pathetic.

Mulled Vine: Ah, gifts. You have touched on the topic of one of my posts to come.

Chourou said...

I used to enjoy drinking the milk that my kids set for Santa on Christmas Eve, when I came back home from my job late at night...

Anyway,happy Christmas, michael. Have a nice vacation. You're great blog writer.

Michael said...

Chourou: Ah, yes. Funny. Thanks for the good wishes. Have a great holiday season too.

Naomi said...

That picture reminds me of seeing other children cry when they were sat upon the stranger's knee. Not me, though. I stared at him for a moment and just turned around and left. I was not sitting on his lap, he was, uh, "excited" from holding children at the mall that day. I was six, but i knew not to sit on his lap. having older cousins is why I knew there was -something- wrong, but I still didn't fully understand what.