If you haven’t heard, this year’s must-have, hottest, knock-someone-over-on-Black-Friday toy is Hatchimals, interactive creatures that come locked inside an egg. The only way to get them to hatch is to nurture them with play, and once the animal literally pecks its way out, your kid then gets to raise their creature through three stages of childhood.
Sounds pretty great, but I’m glad my kids haven’t heard of them, because these bad boys have been sold out everywhere for a while, unless you pony up six times the retail price to get them off eBay. So in an attempt to help out folks who’ll be facing the wrath of disappointed children, some pre-written letters from Santa appeared online for parents to print out and leave for their little ones. The most popular one explains that the eggs will be laid in January and then an elf will deliver the egg to your home, and it urges your little ones to be patient with the egg-laying process.
And then, of course, everyone went nuts. People on the internet exploded with a collective sense of outrage that parents feel the need to apologize for not meeting their children’s every demand. “You’re teaching your kids they deserve everything they want,” they shouted. “Kids need to learn to handle disappointment,” they typed in all caps. “We’re destroying our children,” they admonished. And of course, plenty of people were pretty miffed that Santa had to apologize for anything at all. “Santa doesn’t apologize,” they chided.
But I’m taking the other side on this one. Though I usually don’t cower to my kid’s demands and agree that children need to learn how to handle real life, I’m on board with this letter from Santa. And here’s why:
First and foremost, this parenting gig is hard, especially around the holidays with all the added pressure of school vacation, teacher gifts and buying special junk for everyone you know. And we parents could use a break. So if there’s a little note that’ll potentially stave off a spectacular tantrum, I’m a buyer. And if your kids are anything like mine, come January they’ll forget all about what they wanted in December so you probably won’t have to buy anything anyway. Score!
Also, your kid still isn’t getting the toy they want, even if they get a note explaining why. So technically they’re dealing with disappointment, right? I think the parents who mow people over with their cart to grab the toy or the ones searching endlessly for it are the people with issues. Not the ones who leave a note from Santa.
And sadly, there will be lots of people throughout life who will disappoint your kids. You don’t always have to be the person who teaches them that lesson. Personally, I think one of the perks of being my kids’ mommy is I get to make them happy when I feel like it. And if I feel like a little note might make them happy, it’s no one else’s place to say that’s bad.
Finally, for all the people so upset that parents dared to make Santa grovel with an apology for anything when all he does is keep kids in line and bring happiness…
I guess no one’s told them yet.