I know, I know– Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year— however, the internet (once again) has to go and piss me off.

Let me backtrack a bit here when I say, it must’ve been amazing to have been my parents…in the days of pre-social media pressures and not having to worry about whether or not your royally screwing up your children. ‘Cause even if you were screwing up your children, you couldn’t compare it on a daily, almost minute-by-minute, basis.

Being a parent in 2018 is freaking exhausting and makes us feel like we have to live up to superb expectations. And then it’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t on any which way we choose to parent our offspring.

I’m not talking about Elf on the Shelf (don’t get me started on that creepy little thing) or if it’s age appropriate to give my kid an iPad– but I’m talking about this little gem of a picture that I see on my social media feed possibly two to three times a day.

 

Now, I’m probably going to ruffle a few feathers on this one but, oh well. I’m about to be blunt as hell up in here so if you are already offended, then be prepared to get your panties in an even bigger bunch.

I guess my message goes to the person who first wrote this viral post, but also to EVERYONE that mind-numbingly wants to share it– I have a message for you folks, and it’s this:

How about you shut your pie hole this Christmas and just let us celebrate the holiday however we feel right for OUR family? Like, let the parents that spawned these humans put whomever they choose to put their gifts from.

Santa. Easter bunny. Mildred down the block. Who effings cares.

Yeah, imagine that– raising our kids how we want to raise them– .whether that means plastering a huge Santa name tag on a huffy ten-speed bike or on a pair of socks; you do you and I could care-less either way.

Either way, my children will know the true meaning of Christmas…surprise, it’s not about receiving gifts; maybe we can all focus more on that?

This isn’t coming from a place of insensitivity; I grew up in a middle-class, one-income household with a (mainly) stay-at-home dad. My parents sacrificed a lot to give my sister and I a wonderful Christmas and to bring the magic into our home every year. We were grateful whether we were given underwear or coloring books…we were raised to be grateful for whatever we were given. Every-year. My parents didn’t set us up for unrealistic expectations for Christmas. Yes, we did get one or two big presents, but the rest were things like socks, pajamas, and books…and oh my god, nearly half the things were from Santa.

Gasp.

I can still remember a magical Christmas when I was five and “Santa” gifted me one of those super-cool Barbie jeeps…you know, the ones with the telephone inside. I’m sure my whole street heard the tiny shrills of a very excited little girl that morning. And that joy that my parents saw on my face was, I’m sure, worth it to put Santa on that gift; because the magic in believing was so real and for a parent, that is what it’s all about.

And you know what? I didn’t go around telling my friends about how Santa gave me a kick-ass Barbie jeep. Nobody talked about their presents after Christmas break because by that time, we were already bored with our shit and too busy playing M.A.S.H. in between learning.

Basically, the whole point of my bitch-off is this: you celebrate the season how YOU want to…how YOU feel fit.

If you want to tag all your gifts from Santa, go for it! If you want to tag all your gifts from mommy and daddy, awesome! Do it and shut up about it. And please for the love of all things holy, stop telling other parents on how to celebrate their holiday.

Laura Bower
Author

Laura is the author of YOUR PENIS WILL FALL OFF! and other sh*t I've said to my kids; blogger and creator of Excuse the Mess, and a sweary millenial mom that realized motherhood isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. She describes her parenting styles as a free-range type thing– they will eat food off the floor, cereal for dinner, and memorize the lines from nearly every cartoon theme-song– but they are very well-loved and taken care of. Hopefully, she doesn't screw them up too much. She never turns down a good cup of coffee and is a lover of 80's music and bubble baths.

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