Hey Neighbor, Thanks For Making My Kid Cry Over Santa

Dear Neighbor,

This has really gone far enough.

I consider myself to be a pretty open-minded, tolerant person when it comes to most things. I don’t really care what color your house is or whether or not you are fastidious about doing the weeding. Leave your trashcans by the curb for an extra day, sure. Forget to take your newspaper in one day, whatever.

So, I held by tongue during Halloween when you decorated your yard like a scene straight out of a nightmare even Freddy Krueger would wake screaming from. Sure, my children were scared (honestly, so was I) by the Blair Witch Project stick set-up and the actual refrigerator (with a chainsaw on top) opened to reveal disembodied fake limbs with blood dripping down the front. Yes, the stuffed Hannibal Lecter in the mask with the bars over his mouth on the wheeled dolly was creepy, but I held my tongue. Quite honestly,the tombstones all over the yard and the hands sticking up from the ground almost made me crash my car a few times, but I managed to slam on the brakes in time. I didn’t even complain when you left said decorations out until well into November. I just told my girls that some people enjoy bringing out the creepy decor for Halloween and to please just avert their eyes as we drove past every.single.day on our way to and from school.

However, I can stay silent no more.

You see, Halloween is one thing, but Christmas is something altogether different in my opinion.

You can imagine my displeasure then when I discovered what you had up your sleeve to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Let me set the scene for you. The car contained my four year-old and me. We were merrily riding along listening to the radio play non-stop Christmas carols from what seems to be about November 1st through Valentine’s Day, but I digress. Now, I saw it first, and quickly said a prayer to sweet baby Jesus that my child would not. But alas, it was too late. From the backseat…

Abby: Mom, I see something strange.

Me: (trying desperately to seem totally non-plussed) Oh really, honey, what do you see?

Abby: (her voice getting just a tad higher as the emotion rises) I see red pants and black boots. Is that Santa?

Me: Um, I think so honey, but it is just a decoration.

Abby: No, it isn’t. That is the real Santa. And he is dead.

Cue the sobbing. Because of course, she was convinced that to what did her wondering eyes appear but Santa facedown, flat on the neighbor’s roof dead. Obviously, Christmas was now ruined, because how could Santa bring her presents if he was dead.


Now, y’all, I think putting a very realistic, lifelike Santa Claus on your roof as if he fell out of the chimney and died just really isn’t clever, cute or funny. I think if you know for a fact that you live in a neighborhood filled with children, and you already seem to enjoy scaring them out of their minds at Halloween, then perhaps you could lay low for Christmas.

All of us parents have enough to deal with during the month of December, so what we don’t need to add to our list is a daily explanation about the fate of Santa Claus.

Needless to say, Robert and I adopted the policy of telling our girls that the people who live in that house are clearly naughty and will quite obviously only be receiving coal in their stockings. If Santa can manage to get off their roof, I mean.

Bah Humbug,



Hey Neighbor, Thanks For Making My Kid Cry Over Santa — 61 Comments

  1. Why do people enjoy ruining holidays for others? Seriously bothers me. We have never raised our kids to believe in Santa, however, we never, ever allowed them to tell their friends that Santa was not real. We told them to be kind, we told them there was a real man who evolved into the story of Santa (St. Nicholas) and shared his story with them along with other Christmas stories and traditions, and it was up to parents to tell a child what they wished about this holiday or that. Purposely putting up decorations to upset children bothers me greatly. If I thought it would’ve made them feel bad, I would’ve marched up to their door with sobbing child in tow and make them explain it to her. Unfortunately, I have a feeling they would’ve laughed, which would’ve lead to Momma Bear making an appearance which would NOT be pretty. πŸ™ Anyway, I hope your daughter recovers from this and that she can just say, “Yep, they’re just naughty people” and enjoy her Christmas.

    • They don’t live in our actual neighborhood, but one that we have to drive through to get to school…I hope people in their neighborhood did complain!

  2. What the Hell is wrong with people??? So we even share crappy neighbors. Mine are tattletales and yours have no heart. That’s really awful that they thought that would be okay. Merry Christmas, Ladies! I look forward to many more good reads in the new year!

  3. Now that is really disturbing! Are you going to say something to them? Some people are just so completely unaware of how their actions impact others! I know my children would be traumatized too!!

    • I am not going to say something to them, only because I don’t know them at all…plus, I don’t want to encourage them to do more next year!

  4. Wrong, just wrong! I dislike a local house that puts up about 15 of those decorations that fill up with blown air (too much, people), but your neighbor’s just nasty.

    I really liked the suspenseful way you told the story.

  5. OK, you win the creepiest neighbor of 2012 award. Deas Santa on the roof is so wrong. The Halloween stuff alone should get him on a mental health database.
    I think if Emma understands that this is a bad neighbor and real Santa is alive and well, you should take her (Abby is too young to understand) to the neighbor’s house after working up a good batch of fake sobbing and have her ask “Why did you kill Santa?” This would be good practice for an acting career. Only do it if it won’t traumatize her. Oh, and video it for a future column.
    Poor Abby, I hope she gets over it soon.

    • Ha, ha, ha! I am really bummed out that I did not think of the whole going to the door sobbing and filming it for the blog. Seriously, I need to get on my game, clearly! πŸ˜‰

  6. Okay…I am appalled and totally entertained at the same time. Why you ask? because I just LOVE how you write Ashley!! How can I NOT laugh at your choice of words and hilarious descriptions of these horrific neighbors! On the other hand…they seem to be inbreeds from the Devil himself. ARG!!! Do you know them personally at all? I would totally leave them some burnt cookies on their front doorstep and a note that says, “Now that Santa is dead, would you please bring over some gifts to our children? They are crushed to no end. Here is their list.”

    • Oh Chris, you are the BEST! πŸ™‚ Thank you for this comment…you made my whole day! The idea of the burned cookies and request for them to deliver gifts is HILARIOUS!

  7. Oh my! That’s so awful! I get if someone doesn’t want to do Santa, or join in the fun, but a dead Santa on the roof? They must know your kids, and other kids will see it? Go round there and smack them from me, an irate parent in the UK!

    • This comment made my me laugh out loud Karen! I love that the fact that this annoyance can even carry across the ocean! πŸ™‚

  8. I had a coworker try to spoil Xmas by telling my 4 year old Santa isn’t real. Luckily for us, my sons know that already, but he had no way of knowing that. What would be someone’s motivation for doing that?

    • If I knew where to complain, I totally would. I really wanted to put a note in their mailbox, but my hubby discouraged that plan….so instead I took my complaint to my public blog! πŸ˜‰

  9. That is just wrong. Sure everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes, but dead Santas are just too much.
    Probably not much you can do about it – and I have seen these around town here as well – but I would probably think about revenge πŸ˜‰ (oops, is that Christmas spirit? or what ;))

    • Ha, ha, ha Kerstin! I like the idea of revenge…and I have until next Halloween (when their holiday horror show starts again) to plot mine! πŸ˜‰

  10. Holy cow. That really does look like a real dead guy up there. That just doesn’t make any sense. You have to wonder what on earth would make someone think scaring the crap out of their neighbours (children and adults) is a good idea). Hope you have a happy Christmas anyway!

    • Oh my Gosh, now I have to start to prepare for what kind of Easter Bunny atrocities they will no doubt be committing! πŸ˜‰

  11. I’m all for irreverent humour, but let’s keep it between healthy adults. Crushing the dreams of children and fragile grown-ups is just mean. I agree with Chris and Julie as far as an appropriate response, but unfortunately I think Julie’s right when she said it would further entertain them. Disgusting.

    • I think it would definitely only serve to fuel their mean-spirited fire…imagine if they knew people were bothered what they would plan for next year! πŸ˜‰

  12. Yeesh! Poor kids. You should call the police department and tell them you see a body on a roof and are worried that someone is injured. If they get enough calls like that, they’ll ask that family to take it down. I guess someone had a dummy hanging off their roof that looked like it was a person who had gotten tangled while putting up lights, and the police made them take it down.

    • Oh my Lord, that would have been PERFECT!! I can definitely assure you that if they pull this trick again next year I am TOTALLY doing just that!

  13. That is so not funny, especially in a neighborhood with lots of young children. They certainly won’t win the neighbor of the year award any time soon. Thanks for linking up with Picture Perfect Weekly!

  14. Think of it as an opportunity to teach your kids to not get tricked. This is a good skill for kids (and adults) to learn. Next time say something like, “oh, those silly goose neighbors are trying to trick us! They think we’ll see that fake bundle on their roof and think it’s Santa. Hah! Everybody knows Santa comes on Christmas EVE!! They sure can’t trick me. Did they trick you? Don’t you worry, Santa will come on Christmas Eve just like he always does. They’re gonna have try harder if they want to trick our family!!!” Then you can all yell out the window, “you didn’t trick me!!”

    Your kids will learn to take a closer look at things and avoid scams in the future. Also, your holiday happiness won’t be affected by the way other people celebrate.
    β™‘ Jill

  15. Those homeowners are bum-holes. Who does that? Seriously. I’m ticked for you. I might tinsel their yard or walk my reindeer over there to poop or something. Jerks — not you, but them.

    And my hubby is a horro movie fan, but I won’t let him decorate with the blood and gore because I don’t want kids freaked out by our house.

  16. This must be beyond frustrating especially since they do not live in your neighborhood and you could then as least try and get a HOA behind you. It is like you are prisoners trapped in your car on the way to school every day.
    With Valentine’s Day coming up there are sure to really embrace the LOVE theme – hope they do not go too over the top with a red, blood theme! πŸ™

    • Oh Lord, I had not even thought about Valentine’s Day yet…I can only imagine how they will celebrate that day! πŸ˜‰

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