Trying to Teach Toddlers about Santa Claus

November 29th, 2017


I think maybe because they are faux-homeschooled shut-ins, my almost-three-year-olds do not have a clue about Santa Claus. I’m in the pro-Christmas contingent, so now that it’s nearly December, I’m frantically trying to drive the point home by explaining what Santa Claus does and why they should care. 

It’s not going very well. I didn’t think about it enough before I started talking about this random strange man who will come down our chimney and break into our house in the middle of the night. And since we don’t have a fireplace, it’s pretty confusing for them. When I try to explain it, they shift uncomfortably in their seats and say things like “Talk about something else, Mama.” 

I found this awesome collection of old Christmas cartoons on Amazon Prime Video and have been streaming a steady diet of iPad propaganda into their malleable little brains. I’m not sure if that’s helping, either, though, because the old cartoons are rull weird on retrospection. My favorite is the 1948 Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer cartoon, where crudely drawn reindeer are voiced-over by handsome-sounding actors with affected Mid-Atlantic accents. (Watch it here; it’s amazing.)

Regardless of whether they understand the ideas, my kids are mesmerized by these cartoons, so it’s bought me a lot of time to fall into a deep rabbit hole of indecision around buying them Christmas gifts. I had this idea of getting them wooden doll strollers. They’re obsessed with their ratty old baby dolls, and for a year now they’ve been fighting over this one broken wagon.

Buying a wooden baby-doll stroller reminds me of trying to buy sunglasses. The more I look into it, the more expensive the prospect gets. Sure, I can get a cheap one. But the reviews are terrible; they all say the wheels fall off easily and there are tons of delicious tiny rubber parts my orally fixated kids will just love to get their chompers on. The more you read the reviews, the more rapidly you become convinced you need to spend $120 on an “heirloom quality” wooden stroller — or to be more precise, two of them, for TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY DOLLARS.

This is exactly how, when I was in my mid-20s and broke AF, I ended up buying an expensive pair of Calvin Klein sunglasses with green tinted lenses.

On the other hand, I kept those exquisite sunglasses for years, and they tied many an outfit together. So that’s a vote for the pricey heirloom baby prams.

The other problem I’m running into with wooden doll prams is Pinterest. Pinterest is such a tease, because you can find a picture of just about anything there — including a bevy of stunning wooden doll prams you can only get in Europe. Why are all the nice children’s toys available only in Europe? Oh I know why. Because Americans like cheap crap.

Anyway, my friend Melissa urges me to get the cheap, low-end ugly plastic doll stroller that we all know my kids will go bonkers over. Jon agrees, but also acknowledges that it won’t work with my whole “life is a photo shoot” mentality. I’m the worst!

Anyway, whatever I end up getting, it will be from Santa Claus, so hopefully my kids will have warmed up to the chunky jolly stranger enough to accept gifts from him by Christmas.


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