Every holiday season, thousands of parents post Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus-themed updates on social media, and most of them merrily ride the line of acceptability. Some updates are kind of boring (another picture of a Christmas tree, Elf on the Motherfucking Shelf, plate of homemade cookies, etc.), and some are rooted in consumer-driven greed, but the majority are actually pleasant updates that celebrate the joy of the season with a healthy emphasis on family. Toddlers in Christmas pajamas, babies swaddled by the fire, and kids singing carols are what harmlessly dominate the average adult's Facebook feed.
And yet, some parents are still doing it wrong. It seems cruel to say this with such ease, like I'm a Facebook Grinch who can't just let things slide this one time, but let's get real for a moment here: For every five adorable pictures of kids sitting on Santa's lap at the mall, there's a parental holiday update that probably shouldn't have made the cut. Do I think these parents deserve to have coal in their stockings? No, not necessarily. We should all be granted a pass during the holidays, no matter the Facebook offense. But it might not hurt to rethink some of those updates next year. Since the holidays are annual celebrations, I try to put together a list of faux pas to avoid each holiday season (including mommyjacking, of course), so that 365 days from now, we'll all (hopefully) be a little bit wiser, and perhaps a little less reliant on Facebook to express our every thought. Sometimes saying nothing at all is the greatest gift that a person can give.
1. Christmas Poo
I know, I know -- Christmas poo is a Forever Thing. I've seen jokes about it since I started STFU, Parents almost six years ago, and I know it's never going away. If a baby isn't making a "lump of coal" in his diaper or depositing a Holiday Log in the bathtub, she's apparently shitting out a combination of feces and metallic tinsel. WE GET IT, PARENTS! Just please don't tell us anymore. We want to have a Merry Christmas, not a Merry Crapmas.
2. Dear Little Jewish Boy Who Ruined Everything
It's appropriate that a woman named Mary wrote this lighthearted yet firmly worded rant against a 6-year-old for telling her daughter that Santa isn't real. My favorite part is when she says her daughter's older brother told her that Santa HAD to be real because "there was no way mom and dad would buy all those gifts." Except, well, yes there is, because that's exactly what happens. And Santa is fake. He's a fictional character that every child -- every single child -- is going to find out isn't real someday. Heartless Jews like me have known this information for a very long time (since birth, basically), and oh yes, we are a comin' for your little ones! Not ready to give up the magic? Lie to your children at all costs, even when it means gift wrapping your lie within a lie and then sticking a peppermint Santa hat on top? Well, don't let them meet this kid. Or Zeke. Or any other kids who fancies eating potato products and apple sauce. They know what's up.
3. Elf On The Shelf-Induced Heart Attack
"For Amy's Sake" sounds like the saddest, most pointless Lifetime Movie for Kids that I can imagine. On regular Lifetime, starlets like Tori Spelling nearly get murdered after being kidnapped by psychotic boyfriends. But on Lifetime for Kids, little girls like Amy must cope with various crises surrounding overpriced toy elves who get physically assaulted -- I'm sorry, lovingly touched for a brief moment -- by evil cleaning ladies who don't know or care AT ALL about some idiotic doll with supposed "powers." SUCK IT UP, AMY. You haven't even been forced to live in a creepy cabin by a lake yet! You have nothing to cry about!!
4. PC Christmas Crap
HAY Georgia, a few quick things:
1. It's KWANZAA with two A's. If you're going to complain about another cultural holiday that occurs around "Christmastime," at least fucking spell it right.
2. It's HANUKKAH with one N and two K's. If you're going to complain about another cultural holiday that occurs around "Christmastime," at least fucking spell it right.
3. "Sick of this PC crap" is often code for "I'm racist," which means that...
4. ...the irony of your being offended by a "coloring" exercising is actually quite funny. Merry Christmahanakwanzika!
5. Sexxxy Babies For Christmas
Um. The nudity + the hat + the caption + this image being posted on Instagram is already eye-roll-worthy enough, but the following comment exchange is truly where these parents lose my sympathy (which is usually at its highest around the holidays!):
Something tells me Jesus would not have wanted it to be this way. "I couldn't get a shot covering her vag" aren't words I expect to hear around Christmas, or any time of year, really, and these two should probably just text this information to each other on their bedazzled Blackberries or whatever the next time they're staging naked photo opps with their babies. I understand the mutual desire to be artful, yet playful (while still racking up Instagram Likes), but a baby's genitals probably shouldn't be the centerpiece of a photo, even when they're covered with a holiday-specific accessory. Or rather, especially when they're covered with a holiday-specific accessory.
6. Baby's First DIY Christmas Tree Ornament
For those of you keeping up, "It's so not a melted candy cane" should actually be read as, "It's sooooooooooo not a melted candy cane!!!1!!" because duh, that "melted candy cane" used to be a long, cord-like piece of flesh connected like a frontal tail from a baby's abdomen to a giant temporary organ sac filled with nutrient-rich blood. Just PERFECT for drying, stretching into shapes (or words, as Patricia helpfully pointed out!), and then tying to a pretty ribbon to hang on a Christmas tree. Who wouldn't want to sip some egg nog and watch the glow of the light pierce through this translucent, almost peppermint-y twist of old skin dangling from a tree limb? I know I would. I bet tree-trimming parties at Darrell's house are a real hoot.
7. Naughty Or Nice?: Mom's Gold Star Edition
Okay, okay, this is one of those submissions about which I remain undecided. On the one hand, this idea is gimmick-y, Pinterest-y, and could certainly be considered clickbait at the expense of two young boys' dignity. But on the other hand, it's a genius idea that rings true for parents and non-parents alike (especially those who aren't big fans of "Christmas spam" in their newsfeeds featuring babies, kids, and living rooms-turned-landfills of toys). Overall, I give the idea an A-, but I give this execution an A+. These kids are smizing the shit out of their adorable little faces and playing the roles their mother asked them to play to a T. They even let their parents put on those itchy angel halos and patiently posed like their Christmas haul depends on it. Good work, kids. You've convinced me that all is calm, and all is bright.
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!