Genius Makes Her Kids Think She's Texting Santa When They Misbehave

by Meredith Bland
Originally Published: 
An SMS Message to Santa Claus about a girl named Eleanor not being friendly and screaming in a batht...

Mom comes up with genius trick to show kids santa is just a phone call away

For parents who celebrate Christmas, this time of year provides a welcome break from having to come up with new ways to scare your kids into behaving. A simple, “I’ll take away one of your Christmas presents,” is a wonderful tool to have in your back pocket. Some parents whose kids still believe in Santa like to go a step further than that and get the jolly red man himself involved. That’s what one mom did last week, and she shared her genius new trick on Facebook.

Kristin Hensley, a mom and comedian who co-hosts a web series called #IMOMSOHARD, has come up with a new, tech-savvy way to put the fear of Santa into your kids. She told the Huffington Post that she came up with the idea one night when her two kids, ages 3 and 5, were misbehaving during every mother’s least favorite wet, screamy nightmare — bathtime. In what was a stroke of genius, she changed her sister’s name on her phone to Santa Claus, and said, “Siri, text Santa.” Siri said, “Okay, what would you like to say to Santa Claus?” Hensley’s kids snapped to attention. She said, “Eleanor is not being very friendly and is screaming in the bathtub. Please take note and remove any necessary toys you feel is appropriate for her actions.” Hensley’s sister immediately understood what was going on and texted back, as Santa: “Please tell Eleanor and Finn that I will give them a second chance. They should be nice and listen to mommy.”

Bravo, madam. Bra-Fa-La-La-vo.

There are a lot of different ways parents try to scare their kids into behaving for Santa, but most of them are super creepy and/or take a whole lot more work than many of us want to spend on anything at 2:00 in the morning (we’re looking at you, Elf on the Shelf.) For example, one hot item this year is the Santa Cam. These usually take the form of Christmas tree ornaments that are made to look like surveillance cameras. The idea is that the Santa Cam is always on, always tracking you, and always beaming the footage directly to Santa. Now, personally, I don’t like the idea of always being watched (I do way too many things when I’m alone that no one needs to see, especially Santa) and it’s not a feeling I want my kids to have, either. Plus, you have to figure that Santa couldn’t possibly have the time to watch all these live feeds from our living rooms, so he probably delegates that task to some of his elves. Does Santa do international background checks? I don’t know, and it’s not a risk I’m willing to take.

But using your cell phone to send a text to a kind and forgiving Santa seems like a great way to send a shot across the bow without having to do anything extreme. Those who plan on doing this themselves will want to be super careful about who they put on the other side of that text, however. Some of us, for example, have extremely sarcastic husbands who would probably respond with something like, “Meredith, this is Santa. Thank you for telling me about your children’s terrible behavior. Please tell them that Santa will burn all their presents and send them a picture of the smoldering ashes.”

That’s not helpful.

You also don’t want a Santa Claus who’s going to be a pushover. You make Grandma your Santa Claus and you’re going to get return texts like, “THOSE CHILDREN ARE ANGELS TELL THEM SANTA LOVES THEM AND GIVE THEM CHOCOLATE.”

So, be careful who you decide to partner up with for your Santa texts, and enjoy your new tool. Thanks to Hensley, we now have a great, harmless, and convincing way to remind our kids that Santa is always on stand-by.

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