How to explain to your Jewish child that Santa didn’t forget about them, he just hates them

Several weeks post-Christmas, you may find yourself in the throes of what the Jews call “Simple Child Syndrome.” For those blissfully unfamiliar with this term, the Jewish holiday of Passover, which typically takes place in the Spring, acknowledges four types of children who attend the Seder and witness the reading of the Haggadah (self-insert God/Moses fanfiction):

  1. The Wise Child, whose serotonin has been replaced by a cocktail of r/TheRedPill and an Adderall dependency;
  2. The Wicked Child, who is described as the reason Mommy and Daddy don’t sleep in the same bed anymore;
  3. The Child Who Doesn’t Know How to Ask Questions, who — depending on your Haggadah — is either a newborn baby unable to yet support its own head or an actual lobotomite; and
  4. The Simple Child, whose “asking-why-after-every-answer-until-everyone-is-questioning-their-entire-worldview” disposition makes them the favorite grandchild and their siblings’ favorite unwilling target for kickboxing practice.

Simple Child Syndrome, therefore, is the phenomenon that occurs between Christmas Day and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day during which the most frustratingly curious children begin wondering why Santa never visited their house. One may stave off the questioning by instantly cutting the red velvet cord and explaining that Santa isn’t real, but that inevitably results in one of two scenarios: either the next three days consist of incessant phone calls from irate parents complaining that the child in question went around quashing his classmates’ holiday dreams by sharing his newfound knowledge, or the child requests further explanation regarding the differences between Jewish and Christian religious practices and two hours later you’ve radicalized your toddler into requesting Richard Dawkins’ Completed Works on his Scholastic Book Fair catalog.

There are alternative approaches, of course. Some early childhood development experts recommend simply pretending not to have heard the question, although this occasionally results in an unintended paradigm shift in which the parent or guardian in question must feign catastrophic hearing loss in order to maintain the illusion until the child has either moved out or been legally emancipated. Others suggest leaving a Post-It note on the front door reading “IOU. Love, Santa” and waiting for the child to return home from school and retrieve it. Others still recommend a more nuanced approach to this line of questioning, suggesting that the parent engages the child in a lively debate a la Ben Shapiro until the child comes to their own conclusion regarding Santa’s motivations, thereby simultaneously empowering the child to think critically and traumatizing them so much that they never ask another difficult question again.

In the interests of preventing either of these inconveniences from manifesting, we recommend an approach that had previously been scrapped from the first draft of the DSM-VI. This method is called “Gently Explaining to Your Kid that Santa is a Raging Anti-Semite and Avoided Your House Because Your New ADT Security System Thwarted His Plans to Fill the Chimney With Pig’s Blood and Wastewater from the Non-Pareve Factory Down the Street.”

Benefits of this new technique abound: first, the child learns about anti-semitism — sure, you could wait until they reach their eighth grade Holocaust unit, but this way you can control the narrative and desensitize them ahead of time, thereby preventing the embarrassment of consoling a sobbing child in the Mengele section of the D.C. Holocaust Museum. (“This isn’t even that bad, you’re being selfish. Haven’t you ever heard of Unit 731?”)

Secondly, your child becomes too fearful of Santa’s wrath to spoil the post-Christmas cheer of any of his classmates. No angry parent phone calls means you maintain your position as Secretary of the PTO, and that high-strung bitch Kathy has to wait until next year’s election to usurp your power. Besides, a fearful child is an obedient one. You may even find it useful to invoke the threat of Anti-Semite Santa as an effective remedy for your child’s refusal to eat his vegetables, turn off his iPad before bed, or learn to ride a two-wheeled bike within a reasonable time frame. Come next Christmas Eve, you’ll never have an easier time enforcing an 8pm lights-out, especially if you emphasize that Santa really does know when you’re awake.

For those who fear that the GEYKSRASAYHBYNADTSSTHPFCWPBWNPFDS Method may only result in paranoia and early-onset Dissociative Identity Disorder, fear not: the Method also helps to instill positive feelings in the affected child. Never again will you have to witness the gradual fading of your child’s smile when they unwrap the off-brand Star Wars LEGO set you found for 60% off on Wish.com (“Who is Bobo Feta? Is that a sandworm from Dune next to him?”); instead, each gift, no matter how mundane or heavily discounted, will be met with enthusiasm and unbridled joy. So what if the Wal-Mart socks he received are two sizes too small and seem to be stitched with the thin black hair of the Indonesian child slave that made them? At least it’s not a chimney-dusted box of shrimp arranged into the shape of a Swastika!

It is important to note that this technique is unlikely to be effective if you find yourself accurséd with one of the other types of children. The Wise Child is likely to believe you, but will either eventually forge a series of identification documents and end up a high-ranking commander in the Israeli Defense League, or worse — he’ll spiral down a digital rabbit hole of discovering other slightly problematic Christian practices and end up indoctrinated into a Messianic cult. The Wicked Child will relish in the challenge of combating “The Enemy,” and, blinded by bloodlust, will end up serving 100+ hours of community service after shooting down a critically endangered predatory bird upon mistaking it for a red-nosed reindeer. The Child Too Stupid to Ask Questions will either drool thoughtlessly onto his brisket or will develop a paralyzing fear of every obese man he encounters, including his good-for-nothing grandfather who inexplicably disapproves of your parenting style.

However, should you find yourself at a loss during your Simple Child’s post-Christmas interrogation, the GEYKSRASAYHBYNADTSSTHPFCWPBWNPFDS Method is an ideal option for staving off further questions. While propagandizing your home with anti-Santa rhetoric may sound extreme, it’s hardly worse than convincing your child that a thousand-year-old entity exists with no other purpose than to judge and reward or punish him — and has, in fact, been watching his every move all year, monitoring his thoughts and wishes, analyzing his decisions and actions like that of a spiteful God, lurking through his home late at night only to return to a frigid Arctic factory containing hundreds of developmentally-stunted humanoid creatures whose fingers bleed and crack as they provide unpaid labor every hour, every minute, every second of every day, with but one day of reprieve during which they bury their dead, dress their wounds, and begin again at dawn’s first light.

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Chicago native with a passion for prose and an obsession with compassion. I’m radically transparent about my personal experiences in health and wellness.

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Amanda Friedlander

Amanda Friedlander

Chicago native with a passion for prose and an obsession with compassion. I’m radically transparent about my personal experiences in health and wellness.

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