I'm going to rant for a second this morning. Some of you aren't going to like it, but I think it needs to be said. I'm veering off the firearms topic and into seasonal business for a change.
I'm talking about the Santa stuff, and "proving" to your children that he's "real". I mean seriously? If your kids are smart enough to question the (admittedly well-intentioned) lies that you have been telling them, then isn't it time to fess up and break it to them gently - not double-down on the deceit?? Placing "footprints" on the carpet, or producing photoshopped images of your living room as "proof", in order to shore up your ruse for skeptical children seems cruel to me - even counter-productive. You WANT your children to develop analytical minds, and question what seems illogical. That's a sign of burgeoning maturity and brain development. Intentionally trying to thwart that process just so that you can have your "tee-he, isn't that cute" moment for one more year is selfish and stupid in my book.
I have a problem with the whole "Santa-cam" and Elf on a Shelf business too. So, you are basically admitting that YOU are not the authority figure in your family - some imaginary bribery fairy is? I don't get that. To me, that means you have abdicated control and responsibility because you want to be your child's friend instead of the parent. In my mind that makes you just as bad as the morons who threaten their kids with "The doctor is going to give you a shot if you don't behave" ... Seriously??!!
YOU need to be the authority figure in your child's life. YOU, and the boundaries that YOU set need to be the reason that they behave. Otherwise, all you are doing is abdicating your own authority, and lowering the bar for your children's moral development.
Yes, we all love the sweet Santa-believing innocence this time of year. But that story should be a story of the spirit of generosity, and thinking of others besides yourself - not a crow bar to leverage good behavior, or a punitive bludgeon against rational thought.