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STFU Parents: Parents Who Are Doing It Wrong On Social Media This Christmas

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The holidays have arrived, and you know what that means! Endless pictures of children sitting on Santa’s lap, occasional videos from school holiday pageants, and that ever-present creepy-ass Elf.

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This screenshot is from last year, but it could’ve been taken this year. Or two years ago. Or five. Who can keep count anymore? The Elf on the Shelf is the true hallmark of the holiday season on social media, and he’s seemingly been “pooping Hershey kisses,” “fighting with G.I. Joes,” and “eating Christmas cookies” in my Facebook feed for decades now. ‘Tis the season.

But aside from Santa pics and Elf “shenanigans,” there are other annual internet traditions to anticipate each year. For instance, which family is going to pose with deadly weapons in matching outfits and send out a holiday card that makes 50% of Americans feel unspeakably awkward and the other 50% hoot ‘n holler with J-O-Y? Every year, it’s a different family! Who’s it gonna be this year?

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Heck yeah, Kelcie! Don’t just pose your family around the fire with cups of cocoa and slap a pair of reindeer ears on your dog like so many other families do. Get creative! Go to the Sears Portrait Studio with your hand guns! Stand in front of the Christmas tree in your living room and show America what the spirit of Christmas really looks like. It looks like freedom! It looks like an obsession with the Second Amendment! It looks like a small child pointing a pistol at her mother’s ribcage! This is what the story of Jesus and the Wise Men is all about, folks — showin’ people who’s boss.

And speaking of showing people who’s boss, another holiday tradition that captures the spirit of goodwill towards man comes in the form of stiffing service people. Inexplicably, this uncharitable act of ungiving makes an appearance every year, too. I don’t know who came up with this trend, but it spreads holiday cheer about as well as leaving a bag of flaming shit on your favorite mall Santa’s doorstep.

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Ahhh, the holidays!!! They really do bring out the best in parents, don’t they? And some traditions are just meant to stick around, whether anyone likes them or not.

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Who wants to bet this tradition is still going as strong this year as it was last year? Hell, I’ve even received a holiday card this year from a future married couple (“The Soon-To-Be Smiths!”) so OF COURSE parents are going to sign holiday cards as coming from them AND their fetus. Duh! You got something against fetuses celebrating the birth of Christ from inside the womb?? I didn’t think so.

Whether it’s posting photos of massive stacks of Christmas presents, or complaining about their kids discovering that Santa isn’t real, parents’ social media updates during the holidays have become our generation’s version of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’ You may grow a little more bored of the replays each year, but there’s no denying that the faux pas parents make during the holiday season make for some classic, unforgettable memories to be cherished for years and years to come (via the Timehop app). Let’s check out some of this year’s contenders for what NOT to post online during the holidays — and remember, parents, nothing says “Christmas DON’T” like a truly awful Secret Santa gift:

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1. Woe Is Mom: Santa Edition 

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Every year, communities across America celebrate Christmas by organizing visits and parades featuring “Santa” on fire trucks. And every year, there’s at least one parent like Rebecca:

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I wonder if it’s occurred to Rebecca that the reason the schedule is what it is, is because it’s run by volunteers and fire fighters who are trying to reach as many families as possible, at a time that’s most convenient to everyone. Considering most people have day jobs and aren’t home until 5-6pm, I’m thinking a 5:30/6pm start time makes sense for literally everyone except infants. So…sorry, Rebecca? You won’t even care that it’s at 6pm in a few years, so just chill, yo. Choose your holiday battles wisely.

2. Holiday Photo “Shoots”

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If you have to put a giant, CAPS-inflected disclaimer on your Christmas card, that should tell you something about what a not-awesome idea it was. Sure, your kid’s beer can wasn’t open. Sure, there wasn’t a clip on the AR-15 he appears to be holding. And yeah, these images match the holiday card’s tagline to a T. But does that mean parents should actually hand their children assault rifles as “jokes”? Even if it’s unloaded, are guns that shoot bullets at a minimum of 1,000mph ever funny in the hands of kids who just learned how to tie their shoes? Some parents might want to reassess their brilliant ideas before they execute them. Since when did “Christmas” become synonymous with “Fuck yeah, guns!”?

3. Elf On The Shelf Trauma

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Yikes. The backstory on this is that the anchorman, a young lad who has no kids and is therefore not a slave to any Elf on the Shelf antics or privy to the Elf “rules,” accidentally caused a stir on the air by touching the Elf, which is a big “no-no,” inciting some home viewers to lose their damn minds. What kind of world do we live in if a person’s first inclination after witnessing such a silly mistake is to complain on Facebook? Is it really that big of a deal? Is the magic of Christmas really ruined just because of a news anchor’s brief, minor accident?

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Thanks for your comment, Lori. I’m sure everyone at KCRG-TV9 is making note and passing around important, red-alert emails about the “rules” for the Elf on the Shelf so no one ever makes that horrid mistake again. Maybe you won’t be disappointed the next time you’re “not” tuning in.

4. Scrooge Crowdsourcing

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Here’s the answer: Darcie, you suck. I hate to be the one to tell you, but you’re missing the entire point of Christmas here. And I don’t care how hot you is as a mother — spitfire kinda hot — you need to teach your kid that it’s not the receiving that matters, it’s the giving. Even if your friend Rachel doesn’t seem to agree.

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I’m glad people like Lynn and Geyra exist in this world to help set their friends straight. It doesn’t matter if you as a mother is hot — spitfire kinda hot, or ghost pepper kinda hot, or even ‘Dante’s Inferno’ kinda hot — if your kid gets a piece of coal, or a handful of lollipops, or a half-eaten, 3-day old grilled cheese sandwich as a Secret Santa gift, your job as a parent is to tell them him that it’s fine, and to remind him that part of the Secret Santa tradition is to receive shitty gifts. Soon enough, he’ll learn to pretend to appreciate them like the rest of us.

5. Macy’s Christmas Disaster

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This might be the least enticing “See More” I’ve ever NOT cared to click. Who needs to see *more* of anything related to this image? Not me. I’ve seen and read enough to know that this babysitter/relative is INSANE for thinking it would make a great Facebook post. I suppose the silver lining is that it’s a good diet aid, if you’re working on cutting back on calories this holiday season. Suddenly, cookies and pie don’t seem as appetizing! Thanks for that, Red. Merry Christmas to you, too. But I don’t think Santa rewards people who shock their friends with pictures of toddlers covered in puke, so please, for the love of Rudolph and all that is Holy, never do that again. You can’t bring joy to the world and peace to all mankind with pictures of vomit.

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