By just barely mentioning the expectations of the great “Ho, Ho Ho” parents delightfully watch their offspring turn into model rule followers.
All they have to do is whip out a few sentences like, “I hope Santa didn’t see you slug your sister.” And “The reindeer fly right past the homes of children who don’t go to bed on time. Did you know that?”
That’s right. It is as simple as that.
Mention the red suit and all of a sudden, the kids go to bed immediately after supper, just to make sure that Santa sees them snoozing. With so much discipline in the house, moms and dads can peacefully sip spiked egg nog and watch marathon movies without interruption.
When that jolly guy serves as the designated enforcer, all is right in the world. Yes, all wide-eyed little fans of fat guys with white beards turn into perfect little cherubs.
All bets are off though when kids see their wish lists strewn all over the living room carpet on Christmas morning. Happily, they breathe a collective sigh of relief.
The stress is over. Before every gift has been unwrapped, the little dumplings grow their horns back, tackling siblings and sticking candy canes in the fur of the family dog.
Free at last from all things mannerly, the young cuties dive right back into brat mania.
And parents are forced to go back to parenting.
Here’s something I like to dream about: If the threat of Santa’s rejection also worked with adult brats, the world would be an awesome place.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if things went like this?
“Uh oh, gossiping again? One more time and you can kiss that new coffeemaker goodbye.”
“Screaming again at your neighbor lady? Santa expects you to be kind. So don’t hold your breath, you old battle ax. Those boots you wanted so much will not be under the tree.”
“Santa saw you flirting around with that little floozy. And so, just to make things right for your adoring wife, he bought her a honker diamond. You will find the full amount on January’s credit card bill. And don’t you dare say one word about it, either.”
Just like children, adults would very likely slip back into their devil ways just as soon as December hit the road for another year.
Unfortunately, there is no one to parent mean adults when Santa’s away on his sleigh.
So hopefully, Santa delivers several consciences at the homes of horribly selfish, dishonest and judgmental adults who desperately need them.