12/25/2014 12:14 pm ET Updated Feb 24, 2015

An Open Letter to Moms This Christmas


As tempting as it may be to do so, do not kiss Santa Claus. Not under the mistletoe. Not near the romantic glow of the fireplace while chestnuts are roasting on an open fire. Not near the overflowing stockings. Do not kiss Santa Claus anywhere.

I can understand the appeal. He's generous and kind. He's great with kids and animals and drives a pretty sweet ride (a sleigh is a lot more sensible than a mid-life crisis Corvette). He's got a great beard that's just perfect for tickling underneath, and though his source of income is somewhat dubious, he's been holding down the same, stable job for as long as anyone can remember. Aside from some red flags - the insane one night a year cookie binge and the fact he knows when you're sleeping and when you're awake - he seems like a pretty swell guy. But he's married, you might be married yourself, and in the scope of ways you could scar your kids for life, kissing Santa Claus is far worse than dating your kid's teacher or showing off old pictures from bath time every time guests come over.

I know you think you'll get away with it. Isn't that always how these things get started? You tucked in little Dylan and Mackenzie hours ago, and they had a busy day "helping" you bake cookies and asking you inane questions about How The Grinch Stole Christmas for the seventh time this holiday season, but do not underestimate the wakefulness of your spawn on Christmas Eve. You might think that they're fast asleep, but there's a 72 percent chance they're faking. Even if that statistic applies to some other more private area of your life, you shouldn't kiss Santa Claus, because you will get caught. What happens under the mistletoe doesn't stay under the mistletoe. Did you know that two out of five holiday affairs happen between moms and Santa Claus? Have you truly considered what lasting impact this momentary indiscretion could have on the family portraits your child creates in art class? Do you really want to become that mom whose family includes a mommy, a daddy and a Santa?

This isn't just about your family. This is about you. I know you might think smooching the man with the bag will make you happy, but we all know Santa has more than one ho. Don't fool yourself into thinking this is something that could last. Are you prepared to become the stepmother to nine reindeer and a whole toy factory's worth of elves? Do you really want to leave everything behind to move to the North Pole?

I get it. The holiday season is tough. No one's doing any work, so you're picking up all the slack. You're trying to uphold all the holiday traditions while also clinging to your sanity so you have a chance at convincing all your relatives that you don't have a secret advent calendar counting down to the day the kids go back to school. Pretending to be a competent and creative gift wrapper is exhausting. But here comes sweet Kris Kringle, flying up on his reindeer-led sleigh like a jovial knight in a red and white velvet suit. You've left cookies out for him for years now, and maybe your curiosity is getting the best of you. "I wonder how my cookies rank with all the other houses... I'm sure he has so many he can't keep track." How could you not be intrigued by this mysterious man who comes down your chimney only to bring surprises and joy without asking for anything in return? You're human, but you must resist the urge to act on it.

I know the Ronettes and the Jackson 5 have led you to believe otherwise, but it's probably not going to be a laugh if your partner witnesses your infidelity early on Christmas morning. In the comprehensive list of Things That Won't Be Laughed About, catching your partner kissing Santa Claus on Christmas ranks at number 17 (falling just after discovering the person in front of you at the 10 items or less line in the grocery store actually has 19 items in his or her cart). A survey of those in long-term relationships revealed that a whopping 97% think kissing Santa Claus counts as cheating.

In the end, only you can make this decision, but please consider the lasting impact of kissing Santa Claus this Christmas.