The Washington Post published an article Sunday debating whether or not forcing children to sit on Santa Claus’ lap during the Christmas season is appropriate in the #MeToo era.
Some parents say children should be allowed to opt out of photos with Santa if they feel uncomfortable, but other parents force their crying children onto Santa’s lap. (RELATED: Trump Asks 7-Year-Old If He Still Believes In Santa)
Many parents don’t see a problem with participating in what they view as an innocent tradition. But some have begun questioning the way the culture approaches photos with Santa amid the #MeToo movement and a national conversation over how to teach young children about consent and physical boundaries.
The article linked back to a blog post by Angela Chang, a mother who explained why she no longer takes her children to see Santa. She, too, invokes the #MeToo movement in her reasoning.
“Were you paying attention a few weeks ago when #metoo took social media by storm?” Chang wrote. “You might think I’m overreacting here, but I really don’t think I am.”
Some parents indicated that the #MeToo comparison is an “overreaction.”
“For many parents, merely putting Santa in the same sentence as #MeToo is an absurd overreaction and an attempt to politicize an innocent, beloved holiday ritual,” WaPo conceded.
Meanwhile, one “Santa” quoted for the article explained how he tried to make children comfortable: making sure his hands are visible, not picking up children without the parents’ consent, and not forcing children to sit on his lap.
“We tell the Santas that you have to be extremely careful. You don’t take advantage of [being] Santa,” Tom Valent said. “I tell them from the beginning: The spirit is love and giving.”