Four ways social media is ruining Christmas

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I am a Christmas person. I don’t love eggnog, but I love everything else about Christmas. We believe in Santa. And Jesus. The Santa and Jesus combo on the front lawn doesn’t bother me…I’ll just put that out there. It makes me laugh but it doesn’t bother me.

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Four Ways Social Media is Ruining Christmas

Starting the day after Thanksgiving, my husband and I have long, involved conversations about where to put the Elf on the Shelf. We have a bazillion Christmas lights on our house…I’m pretty sure my husband is “that guy” who wants our house to be seen from space.

We have inflatable crap in our front yard, the house smells like the finest bayberry and pine Yankee Candle has to offer. I have Bing Crosby’s Christmas playing on a loop and the only reason we don’t have Rudolph and Jesus in our front yard is because we didn’t get to Walmart early enough on Black Friday…which is now actually on Thursday, but that’s a whole other rant.

I love Christmas. You don’t have to.

I hope you celebrate something: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Festivus for the Rest of Us or even just the celebration of a federal holiday that gives you an extra day of paid vacation and snoozy time.

But this year, social media is ruining Christmas. The stuff I’m seeing on Facebook and Twitter is making Ebenezer Scrooge look like Clark W. Griswold.

Here’s what I mean:

1. The anti-elf mafia

Yes, we get that the Elf on the Shelf is a little creepy. Yes, we get that it’s one other thing parents have to remember to do on a daily basis in December. Yes, we know there are people out there who think it’s unhealthy to make presents contingent on good behavior. There are those cray cray crazy overachieving elf on the shelf mommies who make people like me who just rotate the elf around the four corners of the living room look bad.

So freaking what?

It’s a doll.

What doll isn’t at least slightly creepy? If you don’t like the idea of it, don’t do it. If you’ve already introduced the elf and you’re tired of it, suck it up buttercup. It involves moving a doll to a different part of your residence for less than 30 consecutive nights…out of 365…and if you forget to move the elf, there are ways to get around that. Your kids will eventually move past the magic of looking for the elf’s new spot every morning and you’ll miss this time of wonder.

2. The “too many presents” sanctimommies

And sanctidaddies, although it's usually us moms who are complaining about what and how other people gift their children.

For the record, I am a conservative gift giver. I strongly dislike the commercialism of Christmas. We spend throughout the year on travel and experiences and Christmas is a time to relax, be with family and EAT…aalllll the eating. I buy small gifts for my husband, my kids, my parents, and my kids' teachers…that's IT. But that's MY idea of Christmas.

But. BUT. It is not up to me to tear someone else down for how many gifts they give their kids.

It is not my business if someone else’s family is still opening presents at 7PM on Christmas day because they have So. Many. Presents. If someone else can’t find their kid because said kid is completely buried under a four-foot mound of paper and ribbon…well…I guess all I have to say is good luck with that. You made your cushy little gift wrap bed, now lie in it…and lure your kids out with some cookies. Just follow the sound of their voices. It’ll be okay.

But for real, y’all. How many presents I do (or don’t) put under my tree is not your concern. Not your beez. If you take issue with my gift giving plan, please feel let me know and I’ll cross you off my Christmas card list.

FYI: I haven’t sent Christmas cards out since 2013, and they were late. Like February late.

3. The “don’t you dare tell my kids Santa isn’t real” pitchfork gang

My official position is that I believe in Santa. Santa leaves me a present under the tree every Christmas. I know it’s from my husband but I smile and nod for my kids’ sake. And for my own. I know I’ve got a good thing going and my Santa gives some pretty cool presents. I have to sit on his lap and tell him what I really want for Christmas, but that is also another story.

Of course I know the day is coming when my kids will figure out the whole Santa thing…it's coming soon, I can feel it. They might figure things out on their own or more than likely, some third grade a-hole is going to spill the beans. You know who you are, kid, and you've seen me throwing you some shade at school pickup.

I cannot control this.

We will march on and continue to enjoy the season and, if my boys have any issues with the fact that we lied to them about a fat guy in a red suit sneaking into our house then…well, we have good insurance that covers therapy. Boom. Done.

But seriously. It's Christmas. If you're on your high horse about “lying to kids about Santa” don't do it at your house. As for me and my house, we will celebrate Santa as long as it lasts.

4. The we don’t “do Santa” so no one else should pretend like Santa brings presents to little kids buzzkill people

We straight up lie to our kids about Santa. We do. My husband and I were raised up this way. So were our parents.

We’re all reasonably healthy, stable adults with no delusions about the ways of the world. There will come a time when our kids figure out that it’s mom and dad staying up until 3 AM drinking and arguing about how to put together whatever bad Melisa and Doug decision we made.

If that’s not how it works at your house, that’s totally okay. I’m not a statistician and I’m completely pulling these numbers out of my holly jolly behind, but I’d venture to guess at least 60 percent of American families “do Santa.” If you don’t, you don’t. No big whoop.

How about this moms and dads out there in social media land? Yes, you.

You do you.

Plan your holidays – or don’t – based on what works best for your family. Maybe sort of factor into the fact that you don’t live in a bubble, but rock on and do your thing. Don’t make apologies for doing your thing and don’t expect other people to cater to you because your thing is different from their thing.

It’s really pretty simple when you look at it like that, right?

This holiday season I hope everyone has lots of cheer, celebrates something and removes the stick from their butt. Is that more doable than world peace?

I say yes.


You might also like:

The non-toy gift guide for school-aged kids

Gift guide for the sports mom

Easy DIY tree branch stars you can make with your kids

11 Gift ideas for kids that aren’t toys

Four reasons social media ruins Christmas|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

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  1. I am your biggest fan right now! I woke up and contemplated writing this exact post… So thank you for doing it – now, all I have to do is share it! Perfect! Maybe I should write about why we vaccinate our Santa… Double whammy!

  2. I totally agree with this! I dont have elf on the shelf, but I enjoy seeing what my friends come up with and I am ALL Christmas ALL THE TIME. I love everything about it and I don’t really care what other people are doing or saying as long as they are happy.

  3. I’m a Christmas person, too! Happily I just missed out on the Elf shelf phenom by a mere year or two. Now that my darlings are 20 and 21 I am delighted to report that yes, Santa still pops by. They coped just fine with the whole “does he exist?” issue and cared not a jot about whether or not he visited their friends. I’m with you. Embrace the differences!

  4. Sweet Jesus in the Manger being watched over by Santa I freaking Love this!!!!!! Yes to ALLLLLL of this. I can’t even give you a breakdown on what I love because I just love it all right down to the comb-over reference…ahem….
    Awesome Post 🙂

  5. OMGoodness. I LOVE this. My kiddos got their Elf this year, and so far, I don’t HATE it. They are excited to look for her every morning, and honestly, as you said… it’s like 24 nights a year and I’m quite sure within 4 or so more years, she’ll just be another decoration as my girls will have figured it out by then (ok, maybe 6 more years for the little one, but still). We believe in Santa, AND We give presents, BUT we also teach our kids that giving gifts from the heart is the best ever. THANK YOU for putting this out there. Merry Christmas to your family from mine 🙂

  6. I love this so much Jill! Everyone celebrates differently and the judgements need to stop. We have an Elf, I hate the Elf but we have one because our kid loves it. Ours sits on random shelves – he does not get in the cookie jar or get frozen by Elsa – but that doesn’t mean yours can’t! The holidays mean something different to everyone and as long as yours makes you smile isn’t that all that matters?

  7. Actually I love the concept of santa and although my son has outgrown the fact…we still like the tradition of baking cookies and keeping it next to the chimney 🙂

    I agree with the fact of many gifts..don’t like it. One gift is sufficient…and no doubt the media can spoil/ruin the spirit 🙁

    happy holidays, Jill

  8. You do you – yes! I hate the elf and don’t do it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t if you like it. (Although everyone’s crazy “look what our elf did last night” pictures are annoying.). And Santa – this will be our first year that all the kids have it figured out so we’ve done a lot of talking about the spirit of Santa and giving and trying to hold on to the magic. Anyway, Merry Christmas to you!!!!

  9. YES! We do Santa and Jesus (<—– "do" lol) and it's staying that way for as long as possible. The elf gives me the creeps but you know what? The day my kid says he wishes there were an elf in his house? He's getting one too. Thanks so much for the smiles and the nods and the uh-huhs again and for linking up with Finish the Sentence!

  10. I have seen each one of these floating around this year too, and they all drive me nuts. Everyone celebrates the holidays differently, LET IT BE. How someone else chooses to celebrate is NONE of my business whatsoever.

  11. Love this post–can’t we all just be happy celebrating how we choose to? I don’t understand all the negativity towards traditions people enjoy. I don’t do Elf on a Shelf, but I still have an elf that was part of our decorations when I was a kid. My son poses him in a different spot each year to keep an eye on things.

  12. Yes, Yes, Yes!!!! I have been avoiding FaceBook for all of these reasons. It’s driving me crazy, so I just decided to avoid it all together. Merry Christmas Jill!

  13. I have to admit I love the age when kids revel in the make believe whether it’s Santa or pretending they are chefs cooking up giraffe soup, as one three year old in a nursery recently served me. I don’t think any parents stop children in the middle of play time to explain they aren’t really chefs…it’s part of the joy and wonder of imagination.