If I never have to stand in another mall Santa Claus photo-op line again, I will die a happy mother, with a miserable daughter, I’m sure.

I don’t understand the joy and desire to do this. He’s a strange man, sitting on a fake throne, promising kids things that he could never deliver on. His beard is fake. His clothes are a rental. His glasses are decorative. He is, in every way, a fraud.

Now, how do I convince my 14 year old of that?

I understood when she was a little girl why she wanted to sit on Santa’s lap. I could make sense of the wonder and magic that was associated with this Christmas figure. But now? Into her teens?

Is there something wrong with her? Brain trauma that she suffered as a child that is manifesting now? Some weird fetish/fantasy that is stemming from some unresolved father figure issues?

Gross. I didn’t want to think about that.

But why? Is her life so drab and dreary that she is scrambling that much for some kind of light? Some kind of hope? Some remnant of brightness in a dark and miserable existence?

Hmmm.

Maybe she isn’t so broken.

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