Kissing Santa Claus

When I was about 9 or 10, I kissed Santa Claus.  Being the shy person that I am, I did not spontaneously act, but instead, my parents saw an opportunity for capturing a childhood memory that misrepresents my personality completely.

I know. I’m not really kissing him in this picture, but I did!  This was back before digital cameras, so we had to live with whatever shot ended up on the film. This is what we got.

kissing santa


It is a cute picture, and I’m glad I have it and this memory.  I’m wearing a cool 80s shirt covered in colored footprints, and I look innocent and happy.  I must be dreaming about sugar plums and fairies and a white Christmas and chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

And Santa looks REAL! That beard is legit.

But if I’m being perfectly honest, this is kind of a creepy incident, despite my sweet appearance. Why did my parents encourage me to kiss a stranger dressed up as another stranger? Why did I go along with it?  Who was this guy? Why do we ask our children to participate in such wacky rituals?

However, the point of my post today isn’t to muse about how I look in this picture or the perils of sitting on Santa’s lap or the weird parenting techniques surrounding holiday traditions.

Instead, it is to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I enjoy getting to know so many of you through this blog, and I appreciate your support and friendship. I hope you have a wonderful season no matter your celebratory preferences or traditions. I’m blessed and grateful to have you in my life.

May your holiday season be filled with books!

31 thoughts on “Kissing Santa Claus

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  1. You jingled my memory bells with this ‘chuckly’ post. 🙂 I was a one of those moms who made my kiddies sit with Saint Nick for photo ops. As I recall, my son cried. He also cried with Easter Bunny (the bunny had a 3-foot tall head, I probably would become hysterical too). We laugh about all these silly pics now. What was I thinking back then? And my answer still is – I don’t know – holiday insanity moment, maybe?
    Warmest winter wishes and happiest of holidays. If you sit on anyone laps this Christmas, I hope they are of a friendly nature 😉
    AnnMarie 🙂
    ps I too, look forward to lowering my bedside book stack!

    1. I love the phrase “holiday insanity moment.” Can I plead “holiday insanity”? I’m going to use that now when I have those moments! And yes, let’s get some reading done during this break, preferably with some hot chocolate, a blanket, and a fire. 🙂

  2. Such a cutie. And, he is a good Santa with the beard and glasses. You reminded me of my oldest child screaming bloody murder when we put him on Santa’s lap as a young one. He was not a happy camper, so I don’t think we did that with the others.

    Merry Christmas Emily to you and your family. BTG

    1. That’s good that you stopped after submitting the first one to the terror! We’ve never done it with my kids, because my oldest has always refused and I never felt the urge to force her. The younger one has wanted to, but we just haven’t done it. Merry Christmas!

  3. Your picture is adorable AND you had earrings! Lucky girl!

    I have black and white pictures of myself howling on Santa’s knee and also the Easter Bunny’s. There is also one of me screaming bloody murder on the back of a pony. I think our parents were just ticking the “childhood ritual” boxes. And we survived!

    Wishing you and yours a wonderful Christmas, filled with friends, family, laughter, and lots of books!

    1. Screaming on a pony? That’s hilarious. It sounds like your parents tried to check those boxes, but you weren’t very cooperative. 🙂 You must be an introvert like me. Have a great Christmas!

  4. Merry Christmas! This is a cute picture and at least Santa himself doesn’t look creepy. It’s not only weird for kids, imagine the guy in the costume having to endure endless kid-kisses as well. How funny the rituals of holidays indeed. I don’t remember ever visiting Santa. I think I must have with my siblings but I don’t have the memory. Perhaps my Mom has some pictures. I’ll have to dig them up and find out. Enjoy your holiday.

    1. The guy in the costume! The poor guy. I have a feeling that I should know the guy in this picture, as it was taken at a church/neighborhood party. All these years later, I still can’t place him though. I feel more sorry for the mall Santas. That would be a crazy job!

  5. I love your observation about some of the weird stuff we do because it’s tradition! I, myself, have abandoned most a of it and am much happier for it. I feel as if I’m living my life much more honestly, and that makes me happy. I try to “do things” for others as they need or want, not just because of a date on the calendar. I hope you also enjoy this holiday season in whatever way you wish!

    1. Good for you, Lynn! I’m getting to the point where I can say, “This is how I want to do things and it doesn’t matter what OTHERS do.” That is a freeing attitude. Thanks for inspiring me to embrace that even more.

  6. I think my parents must have questioned the whole sitting-on-Santa’s-lap thing, because they never once took any of us to do it. I didn’t even know that it happened until I was much older. I don’t know if it’s because of that, or for my own reasons (my kids were all shy, so taking them to see Santa would have been a lost cause), but I have never done it with my own kids. They have seen it at the mall, though, and have never asked to get in line. This is a cute picture of you, especially since Santa does look pretty real! Have a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year! 🙂

    1. You are lucky to never have done it! My kids haven’t either. I tried with my first, but she has always said, “No way!” My younger one probably would do it, but we have just skipped it. She did get to see Santa at preschool last week, so that was enough for her, I guess.

  7. Merry Christmas Emily. I hope you have a relaxing and joyful time and maybe a book or two under the tree for you. 🙂

    And Happy New Year too! I rarely do anything for New Year’s Eve, but this year I’m going to see a performance by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the pianist Menahem Pressler, which is being screened live from Berlin at my local movie theater. I’m really looking forward to it!

    1. Wow! Good for you for doing something on New Year’s, and what a neat thing to attend. I’m jealous! We never do anything on New Year’s either. We are too old and tired. 🙂

  8. Happy Holidays to you! Although, I have to admit, you do look pretty hesitant in the picture. Almost like the kiss hasn’t happened yet — as Santa is still pointing to his cheek. 🙂 Great picture and even better family memory! As a final note, about reflecting on strange holiday traditions, I’ve always thought it was strange that we leave cookies and milk out for a complete stranger who may or may not enter our homes while we sleep. Any other time we’d send said stranger directly to jail without passing “Go” or collecting 200 dollars! 🙂

    1. Ha! Yeah, letting strangers eat our food while we are sleeping is very strange. And yes, I think I was hesitant. I remember thinking how I didn’t really want to, but it is a fun picture to have now.

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