Christmas Pajamas

“My mom always lied to me and said Santa Claus wouldn’t come unless I wore my Christmas pajamas.  She made my brother do it too.  My Christmas pajamas consisted of a flannel nightgown with white lace around the collar with little bells on it, and it doesn’t get that cold in California so we would be sweating in it.  I would wake up in the morning and my cheeks were all flushed.  Mom would take pictures of us sweating, and I had a rash from the stupid lace.  It’s so dumb.  I’m definitely not doing that to my kids.”

The informant was not aware until later in life that her grandmother had done the same thing to her mother.  She thinks that her mother made her do it because they looked cute in Christmas pajamas, and “anything to dress to theme, my mom was all over.”  The informant does not want to continue the tradition because of the discomfort that she had to go through for all those years.

Some rituals and traditions seem to be for the parents more than the children.  Perhaps one day, she will make her kids dress in Christmas pajamas, but without kids of her own, the infliction of uncomfortable pajamas with the threat of no Santa seems cruel.