Posts Tagged ‘ christmas ’

Five Life Lessons We Can Learn from Shrek

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at jdeprospero@gmail.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.

It’s easy enough to take a kid’s movie at face value. Typically, “does this safely entertain my child and keep him out of trouble for a while?” is the vital question we need to answer before dropping the DVD into the player.  But it doesn’t hurt to think a little deeper about what our children are actually learning from these movies that they watch, then watch again, then again until you can quote the movie yourself (whether you like it or not). So, with that in mind, I recently did this with my sons’ perennial favorite, the Shrek series. And I say the series because literally anything that includes the green ogre somewhere keeps them enthralled. Shrek 1-4, Shrek the Halls Christmas special, a cameo on Game of Thrones, you name it. They love it. So anyway, here are the lessons it reinforces for me.

  • Your best friend doesn’t mirror you, they balance you

As evidenced by the seemingly off-kilter friendship between the hot-tempered Shrek and the gleeful Donkey, most of us will come to realize that our best friend is someone who not only accepts us for our faults, but brings something to the table that we need. Donkey reminds Shrek to look on the bright side of life, while Shrek provides Donkey the sense of family and companionship he’d always craved. Win-win.

  • You and your spouse must accept each other at your “ugliest”

Potentially my favorite lesson from the Shrek movies. I grew up used to “fairytale” endings like in “The Little Mermaid” or “Beauty and the Beast” where the beautiful girl ends up with the beautiful, perfect man. In “Shrek,” it’s the exact opposite. And it’s far more realistic. Shrek and Fiona ultimately find beauty in each other’s physical imperfections, so much so that Fiona ends Shrek 2 with the line, “I want the ogre I fell in love with,” opting to keep Shrek as he is, while being given the option of keeping him “handsome.” It sends a message to children that, when choosing a partner, it’s never, ever all about looks. And if you have to change who are you completely, you’re with the wrong person.

  • If you want the prize, do the work

The extremely unlikeable Lord Farquaad tries getting others to do his work for him by holding a tournament to determine who will save Fiona from the castle, naturally so he can marry the princess and become king. When Shrek steps in, does the dirty work and falls in love with that princess, we are reminded once again that there are no shortcuts (pardon the pun) to success (or love).

  • You will sacrifice some of yourself when you have a family (but it’s worth it)

The Shrek series, while giving parents plenty of reasons to chuckle with mature jokes or references that sail over our kids’ heads, has a way of entertaining children while also reminding adults of what’s important in life. In “Shrek Forever After,” the final installment of the series, Shrek is bitter about not being the intimidating monster he used to be before he’d fallen in love and started a family. But after striking a deal with Rumpelstiltskin, he learns the hard way that what’s in front of you is more important than what’s behind.

  • Sometimes, we don’t even know what’s best for our own kids

In Shrek 2, The King and Queen of Far, Far Away  (aka Fiona’s parents) meet Shrek for the first time, and it’s the typical “in-laws aren’t thrilled with the dud their daughter has brought home” type of comedy. The Queen is much more tolerant of her daughter’s unexpected ogre husband, but the King is disgusted by him, insulting him at every turn. And it’s all based on the fact that his daughter didn’t follow the path that he had laid out for her. To be fair, he truly did think that locking her in a dragon-guarded castle until Prince Charming rescued her was for her own good. And that should serve as a really extreme euphemism for how we treat our own kids. While we will always want to protect them, sooner or later we need to accept that they’re old enough to make their own decisions. And ultimately, they know what will make them happy better than we do. I don’t expect this to be easy.

My 4-year-old, Antonio, with his buddy on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

 

Do any of you notice lessons in movies your kids watch that you hope stick with them? Tell me about them in the comments section below! And while you’re at it, check out my appearance on last week’s HuffPost Live, discussing parenting mistakes and my article on Disney’s first same-sex couple!

As always, thanks for reading.

Check out the 50 Best Movies for Kids!

Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting

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Five Ways You’re Missing Your Kid’s Childhood

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at jdeprospero@gmail.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.

* To those who know me personally, this blog is going to come across as extremely hypocritical. Bear in mind that, while I’m encouraging others to follow these steps, I’m directing this advice at myself as well.

I fail at my job as parent pretty regularly. Every day, in fact. I yell too loudly, I laugh in my kids’ faces when they mispronounce words, I sometimes even forget that they’re due for an afternoon snack until we’re pushed right up against dinner and it’s too late. But since I still show up for my “job” the next day, no matter what, I think I’m on the path to ultimate success. I also believe that my tendency to scrutinize myself, while occasionally leading to personal anguish, yields a self-aware, prepared father at the end of the day. At least I hope so.

Naturally, the road to self-improvement goes through self-awareness. So, I decided to come up with a list of potentially harmful common themes I’m finding in my own life, and quite frankly, in the lives of too many parents.

Here are the most direct ways I think we can ensure we don’t miss our children growing up while we’re busy doing too much:

Put Down the Camera

Look, I get it. I’m guilty of it myself. But your kid doesn’t want every waking hour of his/her life dedicated to film. And if they do, you’re raising a narcissist (or a reality TV star). There are certainly times when I hover over my son like the paparazzi in hopes of a magical moment. But neither of us are enjoying it as I’m stressing over getting the perfect shot, already thinking ahead to the Instagram filter that will go best with my masterpiece. In the end, my kid gives less than a sh*t about social media and much more about me playing with him, hands-free. And another thing, not every single picture you take of your child is post-worthy. Trust me on this. I’ve had to remind myself on Christmas morning to put down my phone and/or camcorder to focus more on enjoying the look on their faces and less on documenting it.

Stop Cleaning Up

I hate cleaning an entire roomful of toys after my sons are finished wreaking havoc on it. So what I often find myself doing is shadowing my kids, picking up things and putting them away not even a minute after my boys have moved onto another toy. I do it for two reasons: one, to avoid having a much larger mess to clean later and two, to avoid the inevitable struggle of convincing my kid to clean it up himself.  I’m not saying it’s right, but it happens. And I need to stop. If even ¼ of the time I spend with my kids is taken up by snapping pictures and clearing the floor, am I really spending time with them?

Talk to Them at Length

You’ll find that if you do too much of bullets 1 and 2 listed above, you’ll have less time for this. I’ve discovered some of the most fascinating things about my children by simply asking them follow-up questions about their day, what they dreamed about, their fears, etc. Sometimes if you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Probing your children for further information is like listening to a musical artist’s entire album, rather than just the singles. You’re bound to find a gem or two.

Let Them Fail

I’ve written about this in the past, but kids need to know what it feels like to fail. It’s the only way they’ll be motivated to succeed. I’ve spotted my older son trying to tie his shoes at age 3 a few times. I knew full well he wasn’t going to make it happen, and initially tried to step in. But more and more, I’ve been letting him try to figure things out on his own. I like to think it stimulates his brain and encourages self-empowerment. The one downside is it also leads to frustration, but it’s worth the risk.

No Phone Zone

Like anyone with an iPhone, a constant battle for me is Joe vs. the perpetual social media tick. Instinctively, we pull out our phones when we’re in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Or when we’re on a dreadfully boring conference call. Or, sometimes we even take it out as an escape from the chaos of our routine, daily lives. It becomes a problem when it’s interfering with our parenting, specifically when your son or daughter actually calls you out on being on the phone too much. Whether it’s for work, play, or a simple check because you *gasp* heard a notification sound go off, don’t overdo it. I know I’d hate for my kids to grow up thinking, “Dad was here, but he really wasn’t here most of the time.”

 

I suppose the best advice I can give you is the advice I try to follow everyday: The most important gift you can give your children is your time. Surely, there will be days when we snap one too many pictures or we get so distracted by our own thoughts that we don’t even listen as they gleefully regale us with a story about a new friend they made at school. But if we make a concerted effort to live in the moment and give our kids the attention they deserve, I have a feeling we’ll look back on these years with significantly more pride than if we hadn’t. After all, no one ever looked back wishing they spent less time with their kids and more time with their iPhone.

If you enjoyed this, check out a previous post I wrote about choosing my kids over an iPhone app and what made me wake up.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to tweet me @JoeDeProspero or add a comment below! I also welcome email, and have been blown away by the effort readers have put into their messages to me. The greatest gift a writer can receive is knowing he/she made an impact on a reader’s life. Keep them coming!

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Controlling Your Child's Digital Interactions
Controlling Your Child's Digital Interactions
Controlling Your Child's Digital Interactions

* Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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How One Family Isn’t Letting Cancer Ruin Christmas

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at jdeprospero@gmail.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.


The Internet, if you weren’t aware, is a pretty remarkable thing. It allows you to read this without walking to the newsstand and picking up a magazine or even so much as leaving the comfort of your own bed. It also spawned the onset of social media, allowing us the previously unheard of ability to seamlessly connect with complete strangers with a single click and to form bonds with them without so much as being introduced. And those people could change our lives. In the spring of 2012, I was about to find out how.

When my mom passed away last April, I wrote a rather detailed blog about it and posted to Facebook. I realized pretty quickly how far-reaching an Internet community can be when several friends shared the blog on their timeline, and then some of their friends shared it. Before I knew it, hundreds of strangers were reading about my grief, and many of them had been through a similar experience. It was quite healing, actually. Easily one of the most remarkable people I met through this process was Matt Kabel. A friend of my brother-in-law’s and a parent himself, he and I became fast virtual friends, commenting on each other’s posts, making each other laugh with snarky comments, etc. I felt like I’d met a kindred spirit, and I always looked forward to Matt’s entertaining analysis of life.

Then, this past summer, I read a post from Matt that was anything but funny. His baby daughter, Sally, at only 10 months old, was diagnosed with Leukemia. As I read the words, I sat in stunned silence for a while. Like any parent would, I imagined receiving such news about one of my own children, and my eyes welled up with tears. And not only did he have to deal with his own sadness, but had the task (along with his wife, Nicole) of keeping it together for Sally’s two older brothers, Thomas (7) and William (4). I recently spoke with Matt about the situation, and specifically how he was planning to approach the upcoming holidays. But the overall tone was not one of defeat, but determination and hope. Here’s what Matt had to say about cancer, its effects on his family, and the resilient little girl known as “Sweet Sally Sunshine.”

 

The lovely “Sweet Sally Sunshine” striking a pose at home

 

How did you handle telling your sons about Sally’s condition?

MK: After we found out, MSK (Memorial Sloan Kettering) actually gave us a children’s book on cancer, so Nicole sat down with Thomas and explained it to him that way. He took to reading the book and actually knew more about cancer than either of us early on. William was too young to understand, and still is. All he knows is that Sally is “sick.” One time he was ill and asked if he was going to get a feeding tube, so we have to be careful what and how we communicate. The hospital told us not to use words like ‘medicine’ to refer to chemo as we have to keep a differentiation between chemo and the medicines the boys would take (Tylenol, etc.).

 

Thomas and William (top to bottom)

 

Do you feel that you’re keeping the spirit of Christmas going for your kids’ benefit, or your own?

MK: Both. We’ll never forget the day we arrived at MSK and a nurse told us that the kids with families who stayed positive and lived their lives are the ones that have a better chance of getting through this. Christmas has always been a big deal in our home, and celebrating it to its fullest is “normal” for the boys. It wouldn’t be right to not do it; it would feel like quitting. We have Christmas music playing in our kitchen all day and it adds a bounce to our steps.

 

The extremely festive Matt and Nicole as elves, Sally as a tree

How have Sally’s treatments stretched you as a family? And how important is it that you spend time together as a unit during the Christmas season?

MK: It’s hardest when Sally is admitted. Nicole and I vowed when this started that one of us would always be there with Sally at the hospital. At the same time, the boys need our attention as well, so it’s a constant juggling act trying to get them all the attention that they need. But when Sally is home, she requires more attention and maintenance. She has to take priority, so often the boys are told they need to wait when they want something.

Christmas is all about family, it is very important to Nicole and me that we are together Christmas week. Our hope is that we’ll be together as much as possible, and when we do have to separate, the boys are doing something Christmasy to enhance the holiday for them.
What would you like other parents to know who are dealing with a similar issue?

MK: Cancer is currently in the driver’s seat, and we’re often reminded of this. However, we can’t let that stop us from living our lives. We make mistakes like any parents, and do our best to learn from them. It’s our job as parents to give our kids a great childhood, and we simply can’t put that on hold while we deal with Sally’s current challenge. It’s also our job to remain positive and upbeat so that they will follow our lead. Cancer may alter our holiday, but in no way are we going to let it dampen our Christmas spirit. As Santa says in Miracle on 34th Street – “Christmas isn’t just a day; it’s a frame of mind.”

Days after this interview, the Kabel family received the gifts in the image above and a $5,000 check for Sally’s treatments from PS19 in Staten Island, NY, making Christmas that might brighter for Matt, Nicole and the kids. Also, a charitable organization known as Bay Ridge Cares has held a fundraiser for Sally Kabel, offer rides to and from the hospital for her family and have organized meal trains for them. It’s hard not to smile knowing there are people in our world doing this kind of selfless good for others.

If it isn’t obvious, I’m grateful to have crossed paths with a family like the Kabels. Whenever I’m missing my mother, doubting that I have the strength necessary to act as “ambassador of Christmas” for my kids, I think of the admirable manner in which the Kabels are rising up against adversity in the name of Santa for their children, and I’m that much more certain that it’s possible for all of us. I’ve never even met Matt in person. But he’s still one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever come across. In fact, he’s in many ways the father I aspire to be. And I hope that if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by the holiday season, you will think of the Kabels and their tremendous example of perseverance and strength, personifying the true spirit of Christmas.

In closing, I’m happy to report that Matt and Nicole have been told by the nurses that they should be able to have Sally home for Christmas Day. But whether at home or huddled together in a cancer ward, I know for certain that the Christmas spirit will follow the Kabels, no matter the location. And if for whatever reason you still doubt Matt Kabel’s relentless devotion to his family’s happiness, check out his very public tribute below…

Matt competed in a triathlon in August, donning this tutu in honor of Sally.

That, my friends, is love.

For more information on Sally, go to www.facebook.com/sweetsallysunshine or for regular blog updates on her progress, go to www.sweetsallysunshine.com.  Also, you can make a contribution directly to Sally by clicking here.

For those who celebrate it, have a Merry Christmas. Hug often. And God bless Sally.

As always, feel entirely free to join the conversation by adding a comment below!

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A Message to Everyone Missing a Parent During the Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at jdeprospero@gmail.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.

 

This needs to be written about. Not because it’s a topic I enjoy bringing up, but because this is a time of year when, despite the inherent joy of the holiday season, people are hurting more than we think. The reason I know this is because I am hurting more than you think. And I know I’m not alone. For reference, here’s my back story.

If you’re going through your first holiday season after the loss of a parent (or anyone you were especially close with), I don’t need to tell you that it’s practically unbearable. And for me, it was after seeing the Christmas lights strung up on banisters around town that it hit me—whether I liked it or not, life was going on without my mother. And I had absolutely no choice but to deal with it. In the grand scheme of things, the conveyor belt of life continued to operate, and I felt like I had two choices: Stay on and force a smile, or jump off and pout.  You’ll probably find yourself doing a little bit of both. Especially during the month of December.

I’ve also learned that, despite the support we get from our close friends and families, how we cope with these losses is something we must decide completely on our own. In other words, it’s our cross to bear. So I’ve assembled a list, a defense strategy against the inevitable sadness that can and will overtake you over the holidays. I’m certainly no doctor, but I hope it helps. It has for me.

  • Take care of you

This is absolutely crucial. Don’t over-work yourself. As parents, we have a tendency to forget about our own well-being completely, but in grief you’ll realize that this tactic will backfire.  So, take days off. Surround yourself with only people who bring you up, not down. Get a massage. Go to the movies. Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself. After what you’ve gone through, you wholeheartedly deserve it. And if anyone dares question your new-found affinity for taking care of yourself, feel free to be blunt with them.

  • Remind people you need them

It’s not easy. I’m well aware of that. We all want to be perceived as being strong, a rock. But that strategy works against you in grief. For me, picking up the phone and calling my 87-year-old grandmother or a friend to let them know I still need their support certainly didn’t feel natural. But the people in your life who truly care for you will respond in kind. As I’ve discovered,  as soon as the funeral ends, most people will go on with their lives assuming you’re fine unless you speak up. And if talking to friends and family doesn’t help, don’t be afraid to seek counseling. There’s no shame in this game.

  • Remember the parent in your own way

I’ve gone through phases of holding onto my mother’s possessions for dear life (keeping her cell phone in my sock drawer, storing her social security card in my wallet) to shutting her image completely out of my mind. I’ve gotten to the point where I feel comfortable having pictures of her up around the house, and on occasion bring her up to my older son so that she seems “present” in his life. And during Christmastime, while every other window is illuminated with a single white candle, I leave the candle in my bedroom off, in memory of her. That might seem odd to some, but it gives me a small bit of peace when I need it most. It doesn’t have to make sense.

  • Focus on your greatest blessings

If you have children, hug them tighter. If you have cats, hug them tighter. If you really love chocolate, don’t hug it tighter. That would be weird. But you see where I’m going with this. I’ve found that accentuating the strongest positives in life helps enormously. It reminds us that there’s still plenty of good left in this world to enjoy, despite what we’ve lost.

  • Don’t feel guilty “moving on”

I think there’s a tendency to stay “stuck in the moment” of losing someone, especially a parent. Your life grinds to a halt, and it almost doesn’t feel “right” to move on without them. I mean, how can we simply keep living like everything’s fine when it clearly isn’t? I’m incredibly guilty of clinging to this perspective. But what I (and anyone dealing with grief) need to know is that moving on does not mean forgetting. It does not mean we don’t care and it does not mean we’re not in pain. It simply means that we’re choosing to embrace the light rather than the dark. There will be days when the dark wins, but if we put ourselves in situations that enable happiness (for both us and our children), I think we’ll find ourselves smiling more often than not.

 

Sorry if you were expecting my “lighter side” today, but frankly, the weight we feel on our shoulders (specifically as parents) can feel unrelenting at times. People need to know they’re not alone in their most personal stresses. I hope this provided even the slightest bit of relief for them. So this is Joe DeProspero, guest blogger for Parents.com reminding you that we’re all in this together. Happy holidays, everyone.

On this topic especially, I’d love to hear from you. Simply writing about your personal experience could provide more relief than you’d think. Feel free to add a comment below.

 

* Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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The “Weight” Santa Carries…and How We Throw it Around

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is complimentary birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. Author of the dark comedy fiction novel “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt,” Joe is working on releasing a parenting humor book. He currently lives in New Jersey and can be emailed at jdeprospero@gmail.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.

* If you’re under the age of 14 or extremely gullible, do not read this blog.

I remember when I unintentionally discovered the truth about Santa. Everyone (who celebrates Christmas) remembers the moment. For me, I was about 10, waiting with my sister in a salon while our mother got her hair done. It was early December, and snowflakes began dancing out under the streetlights.

“I can’t wait for Santa to come,” I said, with a broad smile, staring into the night sky.

Then, with the sensitivity of Andrew Dice Clay, my older sister, Nicole barked, “There’s no Santa Claus, stupid.” If you’re one of those people who likes to know what word or syllable was emphasized so they can imagine it being said, know that full, emphatic emphasis was placed on the word STUPID. And that’s exactly how I felt. I mean, how could I not know? How could I be taken for a fool for 10 whole years? Does everyone else know about this? And more importantly, by what supernatural force have gifts magically been appearing in my living room?! I had plenty of questions, of course. And few answers. But looking back, it’s clear to me why I was so easily fooled—I assumed my parents were honest, trustworthy people. But it turned out they were big, fat, deceptive liars. Like serial killer-level liars.

As an adult with my own children now, it’s a much different story, of course. For one, I completely and utterly embrace the art of deception regarding Christmas. In fact, my wife and I use the power of Santa to our advantage with our kids on a daily basis, starting around July. And we’re not alone. From what I’ve heard from friends and readers, parents have gone to great lengths to preserve the “Santa is real” concept with their poor, out-witted offspring. Some use it as a behavioral tactic.

One friend of mine told his kids that the leak in their bathroom was caused days earlier…by Rudolph stomping on the roof too hard on Christmas Eve. The same friend took crumbled pieces of his own driveway and “had an elf deliver them” to his misbehaving son’s bed two weeks before Christmas as a warning to “straighten up or get more of the same.” He bought it. It wasn’t made clear to me if the driveway was ever repaired.

But some parents maintain the magic for as long as possible in order to keep their children innocent. One friend, Jim, hand-wrote a note from Santa and even went as far as scenting it with peppermint oil so it would smell like a candy cane. His daughter bought it. Another friend, Vanessa, covered the bottom of a boot in flour and made “snowy footprints” around the tree. Her son was too young (and naïve) to even notice the “snow” wasn’t cold…or even dry. I’m telling you, kids will pretty much believe anything.

Some not only preserve the image of Santa, but get double-use out of it by creating a solution to a problem. Another friend, Lynn, was having trouble getting her son off the bottle. What Lynn did was wrap the bottles like presents and told her son that, “Santa was going to pick these up for a baby who needs them and will leave you a gift to replace them.” To this day, that is the most ingenious and practical use of the Santa name I’ve ever heard.

Those of us who celebrate Christmas have used the Santa name to invoke joy, excitement, fear, and downright panic. When I was a child, I was perplexed that “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” included the lyrics, “He knows when you are sleeping; he knows when you’re awake” and “You better not pout.” But now, as an adult, I completely get it. The holiday classic was written by an adult who constructed the song lyrically to scare children into listening to their parents, being quiet, and not crying. Couple that with strongly worded threats to take a toy off their Christmas list if they don’t eat their carrots and you’ve got yourself a behavioral plan for your children. The only real downside of this is, aside from trying to maintain order in the spring and summer, Santa gets all the credit for your hard work and you barely get eye contact on Christmas morning. It’s the sacrifice we make, I suppose. But I don’t have to be happy about it. I need the credit, man.

It’s pretty easy and sort of fun for my wife and I right now. Our kids are both under the age of five and (generally speaking) blindly accept the idea that Santa is real, and gleefully anticipate his imminent arrival. But in a couple years, we face a dilemma. How do I explain to my (then much wiser) 7-year-old why there are “Santas” on every street corner with cheaply made fake beards, wreaking of Jameson and shame? He’s already started with his minor suspicions, asking how Santa could possibly fit down the chimney, being as portly as he is. And he’s only four! I can only imagine the level of paranoia that will set in by the time he’s reached Kindergarten.

When I finally learned the truth about Santa as a kid, cruelly from my sister at age 10, I slumped down into a chair and started feeling sorry for myself. Later that night, I was approached by my father, who’d heard about my revelation.

“Son, I know what your sister told you. I’m sorry you had to find out that way. Are you sad?” my father asked, sensitively.

“Well, yes. But at least I still have the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy to look forward to,” I glumly replied.

“Yeah…about that…”

What kind of reputation does Santa have in your house? Ever gotten caught in the act trying to “keep it real?” I want to hear about it! Add a comment below and join the conversation! Follow me on Twitter @JoeDeProspero.

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* Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

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Tabletop Tree
Tabletop Tree

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