Those who know me probably consider me one of the most over-cautious parents in the world when it comes to having my kids out in public. But for some reason in December, I find it 100% copasetic to hand my kids over to a person I've never seen before in my entire life.

I find it odd that I've rationalized "stranger danger," as an ok thing in December, as long as the man who is clutching my kid is in disguise, large in stature and wearing gloves. Wait a minute!

My daughter, who is turning 16 later this month, always handled being on Santa's lap just fine. Last year was my son Jasper's first experience with it, and being new to the area, my wife and I took him to the Magic Valley Mall to meet the big guy. I'm not sure how much he enjoyed it--reading a two-year-old can be tough--but there were no tears shed, so I chalked it up to a successful outing.

Now almost a full week into December, sets are being built, glass balls are being frosted and aging men with bellies are about to find work. Ah yes, it's again that magical time of year to take part in this tradition that, historically, still leaves more questions than answers.

According to, a guy named James Edgar may have very well been the first documented person to impersonate the jolly old fat man. As far as the act of placing kids on the lap of Santa originated, the only obvious explanation is that it's what children first think to do when they believe they are face to face with holiday royalty.

So, once again I will let my guard down in the weeks to come, and hand my kid over to a total stranger, and if the experience results in a single photograph my wife deems cute, than that will make the whole thing worth while.

Please feel free to comment about your child's first time visiting Santa. Happy Holidays!

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