Friday, December 5, 2014

Eight Holiday Traditions I Won't Subject My Kids To

1. Giving Santa All The Credit

My wife and I bust our collective asses providing for the children and making sure they have everything they need. When December 25th roles around, I don't have the fat guy in red stealing our thunder. We still talk about Santa and I play the game every time they say something like "How does Santa deliver all those toys around the world in ONE NIGHT?' or "How does Santa, who is so large, fit down our tiny chimney?"

Santa gives our kids toothbrushes and underwear, not the big ass Lego set that he "magically" made in his workshop in the North Pole. Kids, this gift was made possible by a Danish factory and mommy's hard work. Remember all those times she wasn't here for dinner? These are blood LEGOS. Enjoy!

2. Elf on The Shelf

I don't know what possesses people to put a creepy little doll around their house that effs everything up. I thought these things were supposed to keep your kids from being naughty?  If you need a doll to get your kids to behave for one month leading up to Christmas, you have bigger problems on your hands. It's not that these Elf on the Shelf packs are a special item either. You can go into any store and buy them. How do you explain to your kids that your elf is really a magical one and not an end cap store special for a parent at the end of their holiday rope?

Moving a creepy doll around my house everyday just to see the look on my kid's faces as to why he moves? I can't even remember to slip that dollar under the pillow like some nighttime ninja when the tooth fairy visits. My kids would have the laziest elf who never wanted to move around the house because he must like only that one spot. That's an aggravation I don't need.

3. Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree

My dad always meant well, trying to make this a holiday tradition us kids would really remember. He succeeded in that it was hard to forget. It always seemed that the best trees were miles from the Christmas tree farm's main wrapping area and usually the snow was deep. I mostly remember being cold and being the third kid in line, I didn't have much of a say as to which one we ended up strapping to the station wagon and lugging back home.

I know now why my dad went to a plastic tree and why to make it more authentic, he would hang pine tree air fresheners. "Can't tell the difference can you son?" he would say. No watering the tree, no sap, and certainly no squirrels in your living room.

4. Shopping at the Mall

No way in hell I would every willingly go to the mall to Christmas shop. From the parking to the massive amounts of people, it's everything I hate about the holiday season. The kids would go loopy telling me they want every toy in the building, other parents' screaming kids, and frantic parents trying to sneak toys into a bag when the urchins aren't looking? No thank you.

I don't usually like mass amounts of people scrambling for the same item and going toe to toe with me would prevent them from getting that holiday scarf because I can box out with the best of them. Fighting people over an item that I have have delivered right to my door through Amazon by a guy in a delivery truck who is in my neighborhood daily while I eat cookies in my pajamas sounds more fun.

5. Formal Christmas Photo

I won't drag my family to a studio to snap a picture of us all in our matching sweaters. Besides, this is how it is going to go : The only people looking will be me and my wife. Our three kids will all be looking in a different direction with my oldest son being closest to actually looking at the camera. My middle daughter will give us that creepy smile that isn't a real smile, and the three year old will look anywhere BUT the camera.

With digital photography being what it is today, I know I am going to have to photoshop a head from another photo for each kid. I may even switch out the head from the school pictures just to ensure everyone is smiling.

6. Having My Kids Help Me With Christmas Lights

Maybe someday they will be up for it and I can make them climb on the roof like my dad let me do and drink coffee  supervise from the ground. Someday I might even assign them the death defying task of attaching the wooden Santa to the chimney.

For now, I like being out there myself applying all my dad taught me about outdoor illumination. Just a man and his 10,000 individual bulbs to check. Given the way they decorated the Christmas tree, I will have a giant mass of lights in one bush with the rest sparsely lit. I mean, they can't even get a knot out of their sneakers so why would I trust them with the lights? No, this dad enjoys figuring out which of our fifty extensions cords actually will handle the wattage for all our lights this year.

7. Caroling 

This is better left to professionals who can actually carry a tune. I'm not freezing my kiester off going from door to door to spread holiday cheer. I am that guy in church trying to blend in with the guys belting out Hallelujah behind me. It's not pretty.

If I show up at your doorstep trying to sing Jingle Bells off key I give you permission to slam the door and send me home for some hot chocolate. Also, if you come to my house, don't be offended that I am not opening the door. I can hear you perfectly fine without letting all that icy winter air starting up my furnace like I let the Snow Miser in.

8. Getting A Picture With Santa

We all know how this goes. We build this up to be such a great thing and then we willingly have our kids sit on a strange man's lap dressed in bright red with a full white beard. Then we are surprised that they find this a scary situation.

I checked on Santa's rates at the mall and he is charging $20-30 for you not to take pictures with your own camera. Sorry but at $20 a head and three kids who want to tell this stranger what they want to Christmas when I already know, I'd rather blow that cash on ingredients to make Coquito and get myself liquored up on Christmas Eve instead. Bah Humbug!

What holiday traditions do you hate? Visit me on myDadNCharge Facebook Page to share! 


  1. yes, yes, yes!!! I just do not understand what is wrong with people. Although I did fall into the Elf peer pressure trap and am now paying the price

  2. I'm such a Holiday curmudgeon. My wife tempers my surliness and forces me to put up decorations, but I could honestly do without most of the traditional "celebration" stuff, most of which just creates messes, either literally or emotionally. For these winter holidays, I'd be pretty okay if the main "tradition" we had was sitting in front of a fire drinking hot chocolate. Nothing commercial, nothing cheesy or contrived. Just stuff burning and liquid chocolate going down your throat.

  3. Ha! Totally agree. Wish I had read this BEFORE I fell into the holiday trap for about a decade. No worries, I cured myself--this article is fantastic!!

  4. Totally agree. We didn't have santa growing up, I didn't miss it and my son wont either. I think we do the important things in the most enjoyable way. Keeps us all Merry.

  5. I totally agree with you. From one SAHD to another, I feel most of these traditions are to keep Christmas commercialized. The only thing that I do enjoy on your list is the pictures with Santa. During the years that they still believe, I like to see their faces light up knowing they are going to go see him. Of course, you are right about the screaming and crying when they are too young to know what is going on...

  6. I totally agree. We used to do the Santa one, but now my eleven year old knows the truth and she is not interested in keeping up the facade of sitting on Santa's lap, so i think those overpriced Santa picture days are over.

  7. Elf on the Shelf is just a way to condition children into accepting constant surveillance. Be good because they are always watching