Social Question

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

How do you feel about parents actually giving their children coal instead of presents from Santa?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23298 points ) December 28th, 2011

How do you feel about parents giving children coal in place of presents from Santa?

Just how “naughty” would your child have to be for you to consider doing this?

If I’m friends with you on Facebook, you already know why I’m asking this… but feel free to chime in even if you’ve already discussed it over there on my wall.

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69 Answers

linguaphile's avatar

Huh? Parents actually would do that?

My opinion? I hope the kid’s 18 and finds it funny, not 8 and gets their heart broken.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@linguaphile no, children who believe in Santa, it isn’t meant as a joke.. it’s a lesson.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I see that as unutterably cruel. : (

ragingloli's avatar

Back in the good old days bad kids were rightfully beaten savagely by Santa with a bundle of thorny (best case scenario) twigs, in addition to the coal.
At least something of this proud and morally righteous tradition remains somewhere.

Want to know a really fun trick to play on your kid on christmas? Get an old, empty XBox360 cardboard box, fill it with clothes, then wrap it up. Hi-larious. (ps: make sure to laugh at the kid when it discoveres that there is no xbox inside)

Brian1946's avatar

According to Loretta Lynn, her hippy dad’s excuse was, “Hey I dig coal, so you should too!” ;-)

Anyway, getting coal as a minor is just as bad as being a coal miner.

jerv's avatar

Steampunk kids like getting coal for Christmas; it’s their equivalent of getting batteries XD

Bellatrix's avatar

Truly cruel. I cannot understand how any parent could think such an action was excusable. Poor little things. I can only imagine their little hearts breaking as they opened those presents.

I hope the other parent will be taking this up with the person who sent the coal.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@jerv that was funny!

Symbeline's avatar

I’m just glad my dad was poor, and not a fuckin asshole.

YARNLADY's avatar

The parents should get the coal – because it’s their job to teach the children to behave.

Coloma's avatar

The lump of coal thing hasn’t been practiced in about 120 years now, most likely.
I wasn’t aware this is a modern day threat to childrens christmas. lol

Symbeline's avatar

@YARNLADY Fuckin A, GA.

SmashTheState's avatar

Some children not only deserve coal, but should have it delivered by slingshot, not sleigh.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SmashTheState oh, man. I saw those the other day. :( It’s hard for me not to feel like it is parenting behind posts like that, we should be teaching our children gratitude and appreciation. Hell, we need to remember more of that even as adults.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Why would you do this? Is it because you don’t have the money for presents? Because just telling your kid Santa doesn’t exist is even cheaper than coal. Otherwise, you’re just an asshole.

CaptainHarley's avatar

LMAO @SmashTheState !!

Dude! I know what you mean! LOL!

judochop's avatar

If you are prepared to go from story time to all year lie, then go ahead. Who am I to tell you how to parent your children? If you are handing out coal to your child whom will spend the other 364 days wondering what the hell went wrong and carrying around the guilt then go ahead but when your child enters your bedroom at 4am with a kitchen knife and stabs you in your legs don’t blame him/her…Blame yourself for being a prick.

judochop's avatar

@Symbeline danka. I had to carry around Irish Catholic guilt for a very long time….I can’t imagine carrying around Santa guilt.

Symbeline's avatar

@judochop Nobody should, if you ask me. ’‘hugs’’ :)

AnonymousWoman's avatar

If my parents did that to me, I’d chalk it up to them having a sense of humour. I can see us having a great laugh over it.

augustlan's avatar

It’s terrible. I want to kick her ass, as you know. Seriously… just tell me where she lives, damn it!

Bellatrix's avatar

We could do a tag team thing @Auggie.

augustlan's avatar

I’m in.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I think, at this point, I officially have enough people to consider it an angry mob. Get your pitchforks, here.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Wait… are those parents going to some kind of coal jail now? Maybe make them go mining…. that’ll teach ‘em! ;)

OpryLeigh's avatar

I think it’s really harsh but if there is one thing I hate it’s parents that constantly threaten their kids when they are behaving badly but never follow through. Sooner or later the kid realises that the threats are empty and so they go in one ear and out of the other.

I’m not sure that this is the way I would personally choose to punish my kids for bad behaviour but, not being a parent myself, I can’t really say I’ve thought to much about how I would discipline a child.

Bellatrix's avatar

Just one parent (unless we find others that have done this to little children).

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Oh. Well, that will teach that parent even more. Mining, without company. Maybe he or she will never want to see coal ever again in his or her life after that. :)

augustlan's avatar

I live in coal-mining country. You could send her down here, and I’d be happy to find an abandoned, preferably unstable, mine for her. Just sayin’.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Do you know what the kid did in order for the parent to do this? I refuse to judge the parent’s decision until I know exactly how bad this kid is!!!! Maybe she/he had already tried the softly, softly approach to make the child think about his/her behaviour and it didn’t work?!

AnonymousWoman's avatar

Wait, this isn’t a hypothetical situation? Ahhh!

I guess that’s what @ANef_is_Enuf‘s Facebook reference meant.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I’m asking the question hypothetically…. but, it really did happen. I just don’t want to share the details on a public forum, that doesn’t seem right. The question was born from a real experience, though.

Brian1946's avatar

Those anthracite-dealing ahole parents and the executives of Massey Energy, should be all given the shaft, with no down or up elevators.

chewhorse's avatar

Actually I would feel sorry for the parents.. Doing a lousy thing like that to their kids I couldn’t imagine what type of old age home their children would put them in when it’s time for pay back.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@SmashTheState I’ll bet there are ~30 kids who will gladly deliver lumps of coal a to “jon hendren” the jerk who retweeted all of their stupid and not well thought out comments.

JLeslie's avatar

I just wrote on another Q a few days ago that nobody, or I would assume almost nobody actually gives their kids fewer presents from santa if they behave badly. Forget about actually giving them coal! I can’t believe parents actually do it?! I think it is horrific. But, my point on the other Q was agreeing with someone else that the whole idea of Santa judging who is naughty and who is nice is ick.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@JLeslie

Exactly. Children should have more incentive to behave than some vapid threat from a bearded guy in a red suit! : D

And something else! I don’t think it’s wise of a parent to force a frightened child to sit on a Santa lap just so they can say, “Oh, how cute!” : ((

JLeslie's avatar

@CaptainHarley Do parents force their kids? Ew I hate that. I would think Santa is scary to some children, just like some children are afraid of clowns. I hate when little kids are forced to kiss and hug their older relatives too.

SmashTheState's avatar

Given the number of liberals, neo-liberals, and capital-L Libertarians on Fluther, I’m a little surprised by the shortage of advocates in this thread for the Gordon Gecko ‘Greed is Good’ mythology. For the last 25 years in the West, we’ve replaced the “sharing is caring” credo kids used to get from Sesame Street with Bill Gates calling open source software ‘a new Communism’ and people being arrested for feeding the homeless. Is no one willing to step forward and openly admit that they encourage children to be greedy at christmas as excellent preparation for a life of material success on Wall Street?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I think it’s awful. What a way to totally ruin a sweet memory of Christmas. I have problems with my oldest daughter and her attitude, but I would never do that to her. Christmas is Christmas, and should not be tampered with, no matter how much of a point you’d like to make with your child about something.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@SmashTheState

You know something? The more you and I talk on here, the more I actually LIKE what you have to say! Yes, yes… shocking, I know. But I think greed should be banned from the repitoir of humans entirely ( if such a thing were possible ). Why the hell can’t people learn that “things” will rust away, wear out, decay and slowly disappear, but love can live forever? And yes, Christmas has become so commercialized that it’s barely recongnizable! When my own children were little, we let them make out Christmas lists ( yes, I know… mistake ), but we only allowed them one “big thing” and two “little things.” Part of the reason for this is that we simply couldn’t afford lots of toys for each of five children, but it represented an attempt on our part to limit the commercialism so rampant at Christmas time. We seem to have largely succeeded in that, since none of them are materialistic now, This is saying a lot, since their mother ( my ex-wife ) is about as materialistic as they come, and tries to give our children everything SHE didn’t have growing up. That was one of the biggest points of contention that resulted in our divorce. Sigh. Live and learn, I suppose.

jonsblond's avatar

I’ve never heard of anyone actually doing this (unless it was a joke and the kids got other presents) until I heard this story @ANef_is_Enuf. Very sad. This person is digging her own grave with her children. They will eventually find out who really put that coal there and I can only imagine how they will feel about her then.

jca's avatar

I agree with @WillWorkForChocolate that Christmas should not be tampered with. Ground them, whatever but I think the memory of Chriistmas would be ruined with coal being the only gift they get. If they are young enough to believe in Santa, it’s going to cause them some real misery thinking this is what he did to them. If they are old enough to not believe in Santa, or if they never believed in Santa in the first place, then they are going to be very upset with their parents.

What kids could do to not deserve any gifts at all, I can’t imagine. If they were so bad that they deserve nothing then they should be in juvenile hall, not in a home setting.

Blackberry's avatar

Pretty jacked up.

sinscriven's avatar

I think it’s a cruel, and vindictive thing to do to a child.

If my kids need a lesson in appreciation they will learn it through compassion, not cruelty.
Doing charity work, working the soup kitchen, something that will allow them to realize they have lots to be thankful for, and give them an outlet to learn and show love and compassion through caring for others will be something that will stick with them as they grow up. Hopefully at some point it won’t be seen as a punishment, but a loving act of kindness that they look forward to.

Giving coal is a major dick move that teaches nothing and encourages suffering.

SmashTheState's avatar

@CaptainHarley Anarchism spans the entire left/right spectrum, from Bakunin and Kropotkin on the left to Spooner and Tucker on the right. I hold some views which are typically leftist (I’m a voluntary socialist and a strong believer in unions) but I also hold views which are more usually associated with paleo-conservatism (people not only have a right but a responsibility to bear arms, and I believe that peace is maintained through strength, not weakness: si vis pacem, para bellum).

What’s important to understand is that real conservatism in the sense people would have recognized 50 years ago has nearly vanished. Neo-conservatism is actually a form of liberalism, in which you have a strong, centralized State which controls and circumscribes people’s activities, while at the same time protecting the ability of corporate interests to do whatever they please without regard for welfare or law. This is fascism as Mussolini defined it, total control through the combined power of State and industry. And it is a liberal doctrine, characterized by individualist disregard for the welfare of the many.

Most paleo-conservatives will find that they have much more in common with even the most leftist anarchists than they do with the ultra-liberal neo-conservatives.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@SmashTheState

Ah HA! That’s it then. Distrust of the state! I certainly have that… in spades!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@SmashTheState That is just SICK….those facebook posts I mean! But…it has to all go right back on the parents.

BTW….where is the story about someone actually giving their kids coal? I’ve looked, don’t see a link…

augustlan's avatar

@Dutchess_III No link, it’s a personal story. Someone in her real life actually did this. :/

laureth's avatar

@SmashTheState – When I was growing up, I asked my grandparents why they made a big deal of having me believe in Santa Claus when clearly I’d learn later that he was a big fat fake. Their answer was something about learning how to believe, and hope, so that later I’d be able to believe and hope in Jesus Christ, and His (even better) gifts of eternal life in Heaven, rather than just some toys. While I didn’t end up Christian, it is fascinating to see how “so you can believe in Jesus” has become “so you can get all greedy in preparation for a career on Wall Street.”

That said, it shouldn’t surprise me at all when lots of other concepts have been re-imagined by this generation, including how “paleo-conservatives” like Barry Goldwater have gone through RINO status and ended up cast as liberals, since the Right took an even harder Right.

To make this post pertinent to the question, I thought coal was a funny joke that happened among adults or older teens, with coal candy or other similar novelty items. But giving kids coal because they’ve been bad? Actual coal? Lame-o. Unless they’re into carbon sequestration, or barbecues or somethin’.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
Dutchess_III's avatar

@augustlan…..Oh That is just awful…

JLeslie's avatar

@laureth Oh Lord, there goes my idea of it just being fun and magical and ignoring the naughty and nice aspects of Santa and that he, Santa he, or is it He, can see us all the time. I always dismiss the comparisons to God, and say Santa to children is just cartoons and stories, and they don’t see the comparisons like adults do, and then you go and ahead and point out your parents literally thought of Santa as training wheels for God. I find it stunning. I wonder how many people think likemyour parents. Maybe I am very naive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t tell them ANYTHING about Santa, except that he’s coming. They do a fine job all by themselves, with their own imaginations. I leave my depressing adult-take out of it.

@JLeslie I gotta ask was ”...think likemyour parents..” meaning, “My parents,” “Your parents” or “our parents?” LOL! Just say yes or no!

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Hahaha…typo…should be like your parents. I hit the m when I mean to hit space, when I mean to hit comma, when I mean to hit n, for some reason the M is everywhere on my ipad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

LOL! Well it was pretty cool, anyway! : )

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

That really is a hilarious typo.

laureth's avatar

@JLeslie would make a cool long-lost sibling.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, she would @laureth!

JLeslie's avatar

Awww, thanks. :). My sister and I always wished we had more sisters.

TheIntern55's avatar

That’s terrible! That kid will have to go to school and hear all his friends talk about what they got for Christmas and he would feel terrible for only getting coal because he was bad. He probobly feels guilty and would have to carry that with him for the rest of his life.

MilkyWay's avatar

Not cool. Especially if they’re young.
But as @SmashTheState pointed out, there are some out there who deserve it…

Bellatrix's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf can correct me if I am wrong, but I think when she talked about children she meant little children who have been raised to believe in Santa Claus.

I agree wholeheartedly that the selfish teenagers in @SmashTheState‘s link don’t even deserve coal. Parents who give little children, who believe in Santa and may have been a little naughty (or may not have been), coal for Christmas have no excuse.

jca's avatar

I would like to know more details about the real life situation described by the OP. Since names would not be used, I think details would be helpful, i.e. details as to the ages of the child or children and what he/she/they did to deserve coal.

JenniferP's avatar

I don’t celebrate it but did as a kid. My brother actually did that to my sister one christmas. He wrapped up a piece of charcoal and gave it to her.

chewhorse's avatar

You give you’re kid coal on any (particular) Christmas day.. Don’t expect any visitations at the old folks home later. I (still) remember every Christmas until I left home, one of my uncles would always give me a bottle of ketchup.. Not quite coal but still in the spirit I would think.

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