Santas everywhere are sitting in little booths or in prominent chairs, waiting to pump up sales to a long line of little people. Even though he can be a great reminder of our giving spirit, I only need to look at the photos of my own young children on his lap to remind me that santa-time was for me, not them. I was no different than other parents I knew at Christmas, standing in line for that memorable photo op. How cute it would be. Now that they are grown and reflect to me how they hated it, I can see what a parenting educator once told me is true. Santa is a stranger, and thrusting young children into that stranger’s lap — to be hugged — can be frightening. For the comfort of your children consider asking them first, or at least respect their reluctance and back off. Santa shots are not mandatory. YOUR comfort comes in not having to fight it or fit it in to your holiday schedule. Easing anxiety for both of you will make life a whole lot more enjoyable.