Santa Baby

Santa and crying baby

Glad you went to see Santa?

Some years I take the babies and children I work with to see Santa.

I love it. They look so cute, the older ones get so excited and nervous; they infect me with Xmassy good feelings.

I’m a sucker for Christmas anyway, so it’s not hard to get my good-cheer-meter rising and since I love being with the babies and kids, putting the two together makes my day. If I got to also eat a too-big bowl of pasta while watching TV in my pyjamas at the end that day, I’d pretty much be in heaven.

I don’t have children (yet, I hope!) but I just assume I’ll love taking them to see Santa. I assume that I would jealously preside over such events, fighting off those who’d take on the task as though I were protecting my magical goose that lays golden eggs while writing pithy articles, curing cancer and inventing perpetual motion machines.

So when families ask me to take on the Santa visit duties for them, it gets me thinking about the differences between being a nanny and a parent. I’m paid to be with the children. I have no where else to be, nothing else to do. It’s well and good for me to find it easy to go to the shops or the post office, to enjoy carting them off to see Santa, to have time to lay on the floor with them… I don’t also have to manage the house and another job and a million other things (well I do, but on my own time!) and at the end of the day I unwind at home child-free.

I love taking the kids to see Santa. But if it were my own children, where would it fit on the scale of ‘rapturous pleasure’ to ‘arduous task’? How much do I assume that I will be the kind of mother I am nanny, when it’s clearly not the same thing?

I’m sure any parent would enjoy a happy Santa ritual (if they celebrate Christmas, ‘do’ Santa etc etc etc), I certainly don’t imagine any of them Grinching it up and scowling to see their offspring’s delight, their undersized hearts knocking hollowly against their scorched souls… But is the logistical baggage that comes with the visit to Santa sometimes so heavy it outweighs the potential joy? Do I overrate the Santa visit because I’m seeing it from an unrealistic perspective?

If you celebrate Christmas and the Father Christmas tradition – and have children, work with children, know children….
How do you feel about taking the bubs to see Santa?

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6 Comments

Filed under General, Thoughtful

6 responses to “Santa Baby

  1. Caitlin

    Love taking the kids to see Santa! And although this may come across harsh, I imagine the parents who are able/willing/have to miss out on the day to day enjoyments of watching and being involved in the development of their own child, are also not fazed by missing out on this special time in their child’s life too! Especially if they are asking you to take their child! I personally as a current SAHM could not imagine missing out on this and would be a little sad if my husband took the girls without me there to witness. That’s just me and my opinion but I think it speaks volumes about the parents and possibly, although stereotyping (parents who can afford nannys probably don’t HAVE to work, if they HAD to work they would more than likely use crèches) aren’t that involved or engaged in their children.
    Harsh and I’m ready for rebuttals from parents w nannys but hopefully you understand what I’m saying!

    • I totally get where you’re coming from about being sad to miss these moments, that how I predict I’ll feel. It’s not always so clear cut about working mothers who use a nanny not needing to work though. With a shortage in childcare places in this country many families are forced to use a nanny, tightening their belts in other ares to afford it. Plus, even if you don’t have to return to work in the sense that you’ll starve without the income, many people are pressured to return to jobs or lose their place in their company or on their career ladder, or feel that working is integral to their sense of self and without it would perhaps be less happy and successful parents. It’s always a juggling act that’s for sure! love the thoughts and ideas that this post has brought up!

  2. I love the idea of taking my son to see Santa, and since he’s been fairly good both times he’s done it so far, it’s been an enjoyable experience. However, I can absolutely understand the trepidation of those parents who fear a Merry Meltdown once their youngin decides Santa is the most frightening being to ever be placed before them. I think for the next few years, our Santa experiences will consist of fear and uncertainty followed by either an abundance of Christmas Spirit, or an equal abundance of “I told you so”s

  3. Anonymous

    I expect that being a nanny is closer to being a grandparent than to being a parent . And of course, some of us are Jewish or Muslim or whatever else doesn’t do Santa…..

    • I think you might be on to something. Maybe being a nanny, the way I do it anyway, is between them both? I’m certainly not all about indulgence but I can enjoy enjoy the children knowing full well that at the end of the day I give them back!

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