We're Gonna Have the Hap-Hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny F*cking Kaye!


I should have taken it as an omen of sorts.

Monday night, Jaidan informed that he no longer cared about Jesus or Santa Claus and wanted to instead celebrate "that holiday with the eight candles." I laughed it off, told him I might see if I could make him some latkes later in the week, and for a fleeting moment wondered what it said about my parenting if my kindergartener was already seeking to change his religion. Funny enough, I remember going through a phase where I told my own parents that I was going to convert to Judaism. After all, temples sounded more "fun" than just plain old church ...

Seriously, OMEN. I should've cancelled our Tuesday plans and declared that it was going to be life as usual in our house.

You see, I decided that I was going to create a little bit of magic for my children yesterday. I was going to keep Jaidan home from school and we were going to have pictures done with Santa, eat lunch out somewhere, and maybe even grab cupcakes before heading home.  Maybe, I thought in my head, I can turn this into a tradition.  Maybe I can offer a day off school in exchange for a picture with Santa when they're 12, 13, and beyond. 

I was going to be able to come here today and write a post about new traditions and the magic of the holiday season and the fabulous day I had with my children.

Yeah, about that.

Yesterday was not magical and yesterday was not fun. Oh and about yesterday? It sucked. If I happen to dredge up this blog post next year or the next when I'm contemplating doing it again, well, here's you a little message future self: "DON'T DO IT!"

We head to Bass Pro Shop every year for Santa pictures.  I can't stress enough how much we appreciate the service they offer during the holidays.  Santa pictures are free.  Free!  Considering they run roughly $86.52 per 5x7 at the mall, well, you can't beat free.  Not only do they have free pictures, they also have arts and crafts, games set up, and toys out the kids can play with.  We've gone every year since we've been in Memphis.  It's a great time.

Overall, we had a pretty good time at BPS.  There were very few other kids there so my crew pretty much had the run of the place.

I hesitate to really say anything bad about BSP because I feel like, you know, they don't have to do everything they do.  Most places would at least charge five bucks for a picture and certainly wouldn't have games and toys spread out.  That said: their Santa this year was Lamey McLamerson with extra Lamesauce.  When Kyan told him he wanted a "Spiderman Stunt City" he asked if he wanted it on DVD or CD and when Kyan told him it was a toy he said something about not realizing they made Spiderman toys.  What the what?  He then called Jaidan "Jacob" the whole time and, well, I'll let Karis's picture do the talking on how she felt about the Big Guy.
Ah, yeah.
Three children.  Santa pictures since 2006.  First "lost their shit" picture we've had.  I was expecting it but it still broke my heart and I could feel the Judgy McJudgerson eyes of the people behind us in line. 
Honestly, the Bass Pro part of our day was pretty good.  The weird-o Santa aside, it was a good time.  Everyone had fun and the attitudes were in check and all that.  Later on in the day, though, after lunch, we decided to go to the mall.  I wouldn't let the boys ride on the little coin-operated kiddie rides.  Then I didn't get Jaidan a drink.  Then we ran to Target and, when the boys got in an argument, I made them put back the treat they'd picked out from the dollar bins.  I know it doesn't sound like much, but as I got them back in the car outside of Target, I was really upset.
My feelings were hurt.
I had planned a fun day.  I let J take a day off of school.  We saw Santa Claus and played with all the toys and games at Bass Pro Shop.  I took them to lunch at everybody's favorite place.  We had Frosty's from Wendy's and even a big cookie from the mall.  But all they could see were the things they didn't get to have or do.  It really kind of broke my heart.
You see, I honestly believe one of the worst things would be for my children to grow up feeling entitled or ungrateful.  Right now, at six, four, and two, maybe they don't really get it yet.  But just the thought of them growing up to think the world owes them something, it makes my heart hurt.  There's a saying that we aren't raising children, we're raising future adults.  It's so true, isn't it?  And, really, there aren't too many things in this world as bad as an entitled snot of an adult.
A couple weeks ago, Karis and I were walking out of the mall just as a family with a young boy was walking in.  The boys eyes got SO BIG and he shouted, "Wow!  It's a . . . a . . . WONDERLAND in here!'  He was walking into Sears!  And I guess, yesterday afternoon - two weeks later - I was thinking about that little boy because I was expecting a little bit of that amazement from my own kids.  Believe me, I know better than to compare my children to others.  But I was really hoping for a little bit of that wide-eyed wonderment.
There's really no way to tie this entry up with a pretty bow.  Yesterday wasn't anything like what I'd hoped it would be.  My kids hurt my feelings.  I worry that I'm raising children who are well on the way to being overly entitled.  And maybe, just maybe, my kid had the right idea with the whole conversion to Judaism thing!
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