I will probably pull this saying with my son, Jacob, for the rest of my life.

Since he was little, the moment my son misbehaves I immediately say "You'd better be careful... Santa is watching!"

Years ago, this would automatically snap him back into angel mode. Now that he's a little older and knows a little better, he usually just rolls his eyes at me. I still think that this is a good reminder to him that if he wants some good gifts at Christmas, he'd better watch himself!

It reminds me of being a kid and hearing my folks say the same thing. I have five siblings, and we could be in the middle of beating the crap out of each other... mom would simply say, "Santa is watching, you know. It'd be a real shame if he skipped our house this year."

That's all it would take to snap us back to reality. We wouldn't want to miss the chance at a new barbie doll or G.I. Joe.

Other times when we're walking through the mall and I see Santa sitting by himself. I point to Jake and yell out, "I'm not sure Santa! He doesn't always listen!"

"Dad, you're cringe" is Jacob's usual reply as he hides his face.

The other night we were at the West Dubuque Tap and I looked up to see Santa peeking down on our table.

"Guess who's watching, Jake?"

A few people have told me it's still too early to talk about the holidays, but I figure once Halloween is over, we should be free and clear to talk Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Do you still use this saying to keep your kids in line?


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