As you might expect in 2014, the topic of Santa’s lap is a hot button issue in some parts of the world. What’s that? Something about ebola? Grand juries? Ha ha, shut up. This is important. In Australia, and of course in the UK as well, where creepy, PC trends often start that aren’t our, politicians are concerned about people dressed like Santa Clause. They’re concerned about Santa Claus being near kids. They’re concerned that maybe we need to ban the practice of sitting on Santa’s lap to tell him what we want for Christmas. At the mall. In front of everyone.
Now you and I both know the world is a dark and perverse place, we’re on the internet, we’ve seen things. Terrible things. But that’s the internet and it’s just a corner of it. And sure, every year there may be a story out there about a mall Santa fired for being drunk or punching out an elf but we need to remember two things. First, that’s hilarious. That’s why Bad Santa was such a good movie. And second, that’s rare. If your HR department didn’t suck, you wouldn’t have hired a felonious Santa in the first place.
We all want to protect kids from pervs, but here’s the thing, you could do this by assuming everyone is a perv and just not letting anyone within 6 feet of a child until they’re over 18, but that is what scientists call “stupid.”
If your kid doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s knee, then by all means don’t force them. It’s weird to force a kid to sit in anyone’s lap, from Santa to Grandpa. But if they do want to, why not? Aren’t you in a mall? With parents, and other shoppers and cameras and elves and 100 other kids? What exactly do you think Santa is going to do right there? How about we just keep an eye on our kids, like normal people?
In the UK, parents who dress like Santa and go to schools for events (can you even do that in the US anymore or is Santa banned for potentially being non-inclusive to kids who hate red suits?) are told to not even touch children. Not even touch them. No pat on the back, no handshake, no high five, nothing. Children are not made of fine China. And worse, if we prevent any decent people from having contact with them at all, guess who is still going to have contact? The weirdos. You know why? They don’t follow the rules. You tell a room full of 100 people to not touch children, the only people who will listen are the ones who didn’t want to touch a kid in that way to begin with. Every normal person in the world already knows not to touch children. Freaks and molesters have never asked permission.
So is banning kids from having contact with Santa Claus a good idea? Aren’t we already banning Christmas from school? And the exchange of gifts? Pundits call it the war on Christmas, and it’s very sensationalized and inaccurate in many cases – there’s still a big tree in Rockefeller Center, even the White House gets decorated for the holiday, and malls are still decked out like nobody’s business. It’s not that we’re pretending the season doesn’t exist, it’s that we’re shredding it to pieces to decide what parts are good and bad for each and every situation and person who comes across them. But that’s not really how anything should work.
Or is it? You tell us – is Christmas too old fashioned? Too Christian? Too dangerous? Should we ban Santa and his lap?