"We're strictly checking out what Santa might be able to bring you and your brother this year, so please don't ask for anything in the store - okay, my sweet noodle?
And it worked. She was saintly. There was even an amazed "she's so good!" from one mom at the toy store. I wish I could put it down to my superior parenting skills, but please. Far as disciplinary skills go, I'm the anti-Great Santini. For once in my life I just happened to be lucid enough to lay out the situation to my daughter at the right time. At any rate, it's a small success, and now I need to chase down a Santa right quick to keep her on the beam.
Speaking of Santas, I'll be rating them locally and you are free to pitch in with your own observations of local Santas you see and I don't get to. Just drop a line, a photo, whatever to knockatize -=at=- gmail.com and we'll see how this works out.