You might be a bad parent if…

Photo of a man with a brown beard and big sunglasses dressed as Santa Claus sitting back while texting a message on his cell phone. Photo by Laura Musselman, used under Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial-no derivative works 2.0 generic license.

Photo by Laura Musselman, used under Creative Commons license.

You might be a bad parent if… you pay for your child to receive text messages from Santa Claus.

Strike that. You are a bad parent if your child is young enough to believe in Santa and you’ve given her a cell phone.

Blah blah blah about whatever exception you want to draw to explain why your (probably under) 8-year-old needs a cell phone. How ever did we survive our own childhood without technology? Yes, that’s right, I’m feeling snippy and this is me dismissing you out-of-hand.

My wife says… not enough fiber today.

Behold the modern era: — Choose one of three texting templates ($3) to be sent to your child, or have Santa make a voice call ($4).

“Hey Brandon! My elves tell me you have been good this year! I’ll be coming thru Beverly Hills soon, so make sure to get to bed on time! Merry Christmas – Santa” — $5.49 for 3 text messages on a schedule of your choosing.

“Brandon, would have texted you sooner, but silly Rudolph ate my cell phone. Hope your fish Kelly is well. Can’t wait to bring you your gifts. Love, Santa.” — Varying packages from the UK: ‘small talk’ where Santa just chats, ‘test flight’ where Santa jokes with you, or ‘Christmas Eve Tracker’ where Santa takes time out from delivering presents to send your kid messages 3 times that night.

“From Santa. Hi Brandon. It’s snowing here at the North Pole. I hope it’s warm in Beverly Hills. How’s your dog Kelly? Better go. We’re about to run a test flight.”

Missing from these websites is the most obvious service — Santa sending you his photo on your cell phone. Or a photo Rudolph. Or oops, a candid shot of Mrs. Claus.

Maybe Santa can send you a gift of a game or movie on your cell phone and toss some ringtones in your virtual stocking so he doesn’t have to visit you at all. Merry Christmas.


8 Responses to “You might be a bad parent if…”

  1. RobMonroe says:

    Phew. I was afraid to just find a link to my blog when I saw the title. :o)

    These are pretty tacky. Wow.

    November 24th, 2009 at 9:11 am

  2. My Boaz's Ruth says:

    I’m kind of weirded out about the idea of paying another adult to have small talk with your child!

    November 24th, 2009 at 9:52 am

  3. Jennifer says:

    There’s a point when the FUN of playing Santa becomes a sick OBSESSION with MAKING your child BELIEVE in Santa.

    These are tools to force children to believe longer. It takes the fun and magic of it all away.

    Yeah, I don’t like it. Not one little bit.

    November 24th, 2009 at 10:03 am

  4. adrienne says:


    For old school Santa supporters, your kid can get a free reply to a traditional letter from Santa’s elves in Santa Claus, Indiana (details here:

    If you’d prefer they receive a handwritten letter (that you’ve had a hand in), the post office will return any self-addressed, stamped mail you send them. That mail will bear the Santa Claus, IN postmark (which is the next best thing to the North Pole in the lower 48).

    November 24th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  5. Jeff says:

    This is ridiculous. i figure when my kids are old enough to get a job then the can pay for their own cell phone.

    Reading things like this only make me appreciate my childhood all the more. What happened to using imagination?

    November 25th, 2009 at 1:04 am

  6. june says:

    I’m picturing a 16-year-old girl getting these texts and rolling her eyes: “Daaaaad, you don’t honestly think I still believe in Santa, do you? Gawd, did you _pay_ some loser to text me?” I think it could be just cheesy enough to be cool in that context. Not so much if one was sending these to young kids who really do believe in Santa–yuck. (But then, just the idea that some kids do really believe in Santa creeps me out.)

    November 25th, 2009 at 7:27 am

  7. Allison says:

    I find it all rather creepy.

    November 25th, 2009 at 9:16 am

  8. Jennifer says:

    Oh, I never thought of it like that June, I might be rethinking this. I would TOTALLY pay someone to text my teen child…at school…where all her friends will see…that’s just funny! Hm, and totally plausable.

    November 25th, 2009 at 11:12 am

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