A not-so-merry sign of the state of the economy: Store Santas manage kids’ expectations

posted at 3:45 pm on November 30, 2011 by Tina Korbe

For months, I’ve mentioned the nation’s high unemployment number in my posts. I’ve clucked dismayingly at dejecting household income figures. The words “down” and “economy” are rarely uncoupled in my writing. But nothing has hammered home for me the present economic state of affairs so much as this little story in The Daily Mail.

According to the story, at the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Mich., instructors have departed from the usual syllabus to teach would-be store Santa Clauses how to cope with the unrealistic requests of children whose parents won’t possibly be able to satisfy their Christmas wish lists.

On the one hand, that’s just fine. Even many secularists have bemoaned the materialization of Christmas. All too often, the pile of presents beneath the tree teaches children that stuff – even more so than, say, a joyful spirit, grateful heart or reconciled relationship — is the substance of celebration.

But on the other hand, Santa Clauses don’t just have to manage selfish unrealistic expectations. A common heart-breaking request from mall-going kiddos these days is this: “Can you bring my daddy a job?”

As one of the Santas cited in The Daily Mail put it, “It’s hard to watch sometimes because the children are like little barometers, mirrors on what the country has been through.”

And what the country has been through is an economy-busting, decades-long spending spree to expand the government. Kinda makes me wish Washington politicians sat through the Santa school lectures — or, better yet, had to patiently listen to wish after wish from children who can’t understand why, suddenly, parents’ purses are smaller and wallets are tighter. Then, again, a politician’s likely answer to a child’s request to find his dad a job would be the false promise of “Sure.”

If even Santa has to bear bad news these days, isn’t it time politicians bucked up and spoke truth, too? The government has a spending problem — and the cure will involve painful cuts and unwanted entitlement reform. Politicians will have to stop acting like store Santas of the past, promising what they can’t deliver and then pinning the task of providing on other people. That’s all I, for one, want for Christmas this year. Is that too much to ask?


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Dress Down for Santa

Kini on November 30, 2011 at 3:46 PM

No, Virgina. There is no recession.

“Santa I want a Pony.”

“I’m sorry Virginia, your going to get a pet rock.”

portlandon on November 30, 2011 at 3:49 PM

Santa? What kid asks Santa for anything? Mommy and Daddy have told their Young Pioneers that the State will supply all of their needs.

Santa is no longer necessary. They should have a bureaucrat ask the kiddies what they want.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Mommy was kissing Santa under the christmas tree to pay for the presents he bought the family.

lorien1973 on November 30, 2011 at 3:57 PM

“Can you bring my daddy a job?”

“No!” – St. Nic Obowma

Seven Percent Solution on November 30, 2011 at 4:00 PM

Not so sure this is a big deal. I aked Santa for all kinds of stuff I never got because my parents couldn’t afford it or thought it was a bad choice or a waste of money. All I remember Santa saying is “Well I’ll see what I can do.” I remember when I asked one for a pony he told me that a pony isn’t just a pet and that my mommy and daddy would know if I could take care of one. I was kind of bummed out. Then a friend told me I was stupid because everyone knew there were no ponies at the North Pole. LOL

Deanna on November 30, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Elves do not create jobs at the North Pole? Really? Just wait until the President find out.

There must be some sort of magic involved. If only he knew what it was.

Lily on November 30, 2011 at 4:09 PM

The Obama Administration has announced that they will be fining Santa Claus if he leaves any lumps of coal in stockings this year.

“Coal is very dirty form of energy” Jay Carney stated. “We are asking Santa to leave small pocket size solar panels for bad children”.

portlandon on November 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM

“Santa I want a Pony.”

“I’m sorry Virginia, your going to get a pet rock.” President Obama is now killing horses so we can feed the jobless and homeless while he and the First Lady eat lobster and Waygu beef…

portlandon on November 30, 2011 at 3:49 PM

PatriotRider on November 30, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Tina, good analysis and application. Yes, the “Santas” in our Congress constantly try to buy votes with OUR money. They (especially the Dems) promise anything that they think will get themselves re-elected. I hope that Republicans will be more honest about the state that we are in. Paul Ryan has done well in that regard. Others need to follow his lead.

mydh12 on November 30, 2011 at 4:11 PM

Well for now it’s only horses he’s slaughtering.

angryed on November 30, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Maybe they should say: Next Christmas child – as long as El Presidente Downgrade is thrown out on his keester.

Chip on November 30, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Hilarious OT:

“In a press conference this evening, the president referred in stumbling fashion to the “English Embassy” in Iran instead of the British Embassy. One can only imagine the kind of howls of derision that would greet any presidential contender if that kind of basic error were made before, say, the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.”

Obama thinks there is an “English Embassy”.

portlandon on November 30, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Santa Claus. That sounds like the kind of thing superstitious bitter clingers would care about.

Can’t help you, working stiffs. I got union people, green job scammers and OWS parasites to protect.

Good luck,
Barry

Cicero43 on November 30, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Occupy North Pole. C’mon.

vcferlita on November 30, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Uncle Sam will supply all needs that Santa doesn’t.

SouthernGent on November 30, 2011 at 4:54 PM

Obama thinks there is an “English Embassy”.

portlandon on November 30, 2011 at 4:18 PM

And a language called “Austrian.”

So what’s yer point?

iurockhead on November 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Why in the world does anyone need to go to “Santa School?” My old man was Santa at one of the local stores every year for 15 years. You put on the suit, be nice, have patience with the kiddos, and say ho, ho, ho a lot. It’s not rocket surgery.

AScott on November 30, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Sorry, little Jimmy, you may be getting the iPad with ONLY 16GBs of memory…

albill on November 30, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Obama thinks there is an “English Embassy”.

portlandon on November 30, 2011 at 4:18 PM
And a language called “Austrian.”

So what’s yer point?

iurockhead on November 30, 2011 at 5:03 PM

And let’s not forget “corpse”man.

TQM38a on November 30, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Kinda makes me wish Washington politicians sat through the Santa school lectures…

I’d be happy if they would read Thomas Sowell’s books on economics.

At Thomas Sowell’s suggestion, I read a book by two Soviet economists called “The Turning Point.” It was written in 1989, about the time Gorbachev was trying to bring about some changes to the failing Soviet economy. It was the most damning indictment of excessive government interference in the market I’ve ever seen.

backwoods conservative on November 30, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Why in the world does anyone need to go to “Santa School?” My old man was Santa at one of the local stores every year for 15 years. You put on the suit, be nice, have patience with the kiddos, and say ho, ho, ho a lot. It’s not rocket surgery.

AScott on November 30, 2011 at 5:30 PM

a) Keep your hands in view at all times.
b) Bring a towel, so you won’t scream when the kid wets your pants.
c) Don’t promise anything for certain, not even when the parents say you can.
d) Don’t respond badly to teenagers dissing you.
e) No “lap dances” by adults.
f) No drug or alcohol use
g) Shower well before every appearance.
h) Wear a well-tailored suit.
i) Mrs. Claus needs to be nearby.
j) Deal will with those who don’t Believe.
k) Maintain liability insurance.

There are more, but you get the drift. Being a Santa is a tough job in this day and age.

As for kids asking for things they’ll never get, a viewing of “Miracle on 34th Street” is in order. It’s an age old problem.

That said, I did get the real locomotive — but not as a kid.

unclesmrgol on November 30, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Santa is no longer necessary. They should have a bureaucrat ask the kiddies what they want.

OhEssYouCowboys on November 30, 2011 at 3:51 PM

I’m sure you meant to write:

“They should have a bureaucrat tell the kiddies what they want.”

Just helping out.

Cricket624 on December 1, 2011 at 9:34 AM