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Jane Krakowski: Santa Made My Son Scream

12/13/2012 at 04:00 PM ET

Jack Osbourne Respectfully Declines More Baby Gifts
Neilson Barnard/Getty

Not everyone finds Santa Claus so jolly — namely, Jane Krakowski‘s 20-month-old son, Bennett Robert.

“We went and saw Santa for the first time last weekend,” the actress told PEOPLE at a Bank of America charity event on Wednesday. “We have the classic screaming by the Santa Claus photo. I love it.”

But with Bennett’s latest craze over clothes, St. Nick has it easy when it comes to the toddler’s wish list.

“I don’t know if it’s just his age or because of his parents, but he enjoys getting clothes as gifts,” Krakowski, 44, explains. “Maybe he doesn’t realize that toys are more fun! When he gets a new sweater, he hugs it.”

It’s a busy time of year for the star — who finishes filming the final season of 30 Rock on Dec. 17 — as she prepares to host Christmas dinner at her home for the first time.

But the ending of an era is bittersweet for Krakowski. While she’ll now have extra time with Bennett, the first-time mom found the balance of her professional and personal lives doable during the show’s run.

“It’s been great because I work with other working moms, and Tina Fey is a great example of a multitasking working mom,” she says. “[When 30 Rock is over], I’ll be what they call a stay-at-home actress.”

One thing’s for sure: Krakowski certainly has a lot of love at home to return to.

“The other day [Bennett] grabbed my face and gave me a kiss for the first time,” she shares. “Like he understood what a kiss was. I was like, ‘Okay, that’s it! That’s the whole thing!'”

— Shakthi Jothianandan

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Showing 45 comments

Shawna on

We never taught our children about Santa and I think it is so ridiculous that parents think it’s cute when their child cries and screams on Santa’s knees. How disturbed are you as a parent that you force your child to sit on a strangers knee and be scared just so you can get a picture?

sat on

lovely photo and interview!

shannon on

Mall and department-store Santas hate it when parents force scared children to sit with them and take a picture. I believe that if a child is scared it’s better to scrap the photo-op and try again in a year than to just take a picture of your terrified tot and try to pas it off as funny.

Holiday on

My daughter is 2 and likes to look at Santa from a distance but will not go near him and I dont force her to do it either. My 7 year old son always loved Santa though, even as a baby and toddler.

Anonymous on

Shawna- And how are parents supposed to know their child is going to be scared when they meet Santa? Some are, some aren’t. The only way to find out is to sit them on his lap. :)

Anonymous on

Also, I’ve yet to hear of a child who’s been scarred for life for being scared by Santa!

annabelle on

Shawna you have got to be kidding!! Christmas is different for everyone and people like to get their child’s photo taken with ‘Santa’.

Personally i don’t get Santa photos. I’m a photographer and my husband dresses as Santa i do my own shots, as well as other people. There is a sentimentality about it. Each to their own.

My two oldest kids are old enough now that Santa doesn’t scare them nor are they really interested in the photos but i do photos every year. They make great presents for the grandparents and aunts and uncles.
I’ll continue to do it as will the majority of the population.

Twyla on

Shawna is the World’s Smartest Person and World’s Best Mother. Everyone bow down to her holiness, she is the only one who knows anything about being a parent. Let’s praise her for her superiority.

Jenny! on

Give me a break Shawna! The child will be JUST FINE, u sound disturbed complaining about a quick pic, 2 minutes of tears and guess what, most parents go and buy the kid an icecream and all is forgotten. Alot of us cried and we are fine. I did and well… i’m going just great. It’s been like that forever and i think it is cute becaue there is no harm, plus kids looove to see what santa gave them for being good.

Shaksndn on

Well someone is just a tiny bit judgmental. Stick a cork in it Shawna.

Mary on

@ Shawna, we did the same thing with our kids.

Mallory on

Good grief, Shawna! What is your problem?

Fifi on

Just one of the many reasons you should not lie to your kids and make them believe in something imaginary!

NM on

There’s nothing wrong with kids believeing in Santa, it’s part of childhood memories. However, to force a screaming child to sit on Santa’s lap and think it’s cute, is another story.

Sharon on

Shawna– I would have to agree, we were in line to see Santa and this 1 year old was placed on Santa’s lap and she started screaming and crying, and the parents were laughing, and would not pick her up until they got that picture. Very disturbing..

?!? on

How disturbing is it that you rob your kids of the joys of believing in the magic of Santa?!? Gosh, you’re a Scrooge. I Thank God you weren’t my parent growing up…your kids are going to feel completely left out when all the other kids get gifts from Santa and experience the fun Christmas. Oh wait, you probably teach your kids to ruin it for everyone else. Grinch!

Josh on

Oh for Pete’s sake, Shawna. He was most likely fine the next minute. Let’s not pretend like this kid is scarred for life. Come down off your high horse. How uptight are you as a parent that this is something that bothers you?

MeMe on

Go have a cup of coffee and lighten up, Shawna! You sound like a grinch.

Jenny on

Well Shawna, aren’t you just a bowl full of Christmas cheer :-) It’s one minute of their lives, lighten up. Happy Holidays!!

Rach on

^^ You need to calm down. Just a tad.

Jenny on

Well Shawna, aren’t you just a big bowl full of Christmas cheer! The idea of Santa gives most children wonderful, lasting memories. Sitting on Santa’s lap is one minute it a child’s life, they’ll be ok. Lighten up and Happy Holidays!

Mom on

@Shawna, Whether you “teach” children about Santa or not, they’re going to hear about him (unless you’re living in a T. Kaczynski cabin). Better to address it yourself, put your own spin on it. About being disturbed about “forcing your child,” some of us raise our children, not leave them to find their own way.

Manomer on

Well my kids knew about Santa and now they are 12 and 13 and they know he isn’t real…..and they do know that Jesus is the reason for the season…..with that said I never did the crying photos. My son has photos with Santa but he liked him….my daughter was deathly afraid of Santa or anybody dressed in a costume so we didn’t even bother….no way I could sit back and watch her be terrified for a picture. It’s one thing to put them on the lap and THEN they start crying and you get the picture and another to put them on his lap while your baby is screaming……however I doubt many kids have any lasting trauma over it either way….but I am with you it isn’t really worth it to me.

middleageadventurer on

relax shawna, it is not a good idea to “force” a child to sit on santas lap, you are right about that! but maybe the child didn’t get upset until he was already on the lap. picture is snapped. done. maybe it was only 3-4 seconds…i hope.

mamagoddess on

Great Shauna’s (Shawna’s) think alike!

Deborah on

Seriously Shawna ?

Every child has gone through this why be so negative?

This is typical 2 yr old behavior next year the kid may enjoy Santa.

I highly doubt she forced him to sit on his lap my suggestion is to lighten up.

Amy on

I love Jane, but I can’t read what she says without hearing Jenna Maroney’s voice.

@Shawna – I guess you’re just a better parent than every parent in the history of the US who took a chance and stood in line for an hour for a Christmas keepsake for years to come. Let us know when your parenting book is published. Wow.

Jules on

Parents don’t purposely take their children to scare them. I feel sorry for your kids growing up in such a boring house. Santa is magical and fun. I remember being afraid of him when I was younger and I turned out just fine.

Chuck on

This is almost a right of passage Shawna, at least for those of us who do teach our children about Santa.. I sat on Santa’s knee with my oldest daughter when she was 5 and a little scared of Santa.. Sorry you have missed the joys of Santa and all of the magic and love that he represents ; especially for children

jld on

@Shawna – it’s YOUR right not to teach your children about Santa and HER (and others) right TO teach their children about Santa and the magic of Christmas. It’s not likely she thought, “hmmm he’ll be afraid of Santa but I don’t care, I’ll just toss him on his lap so I can get a picture of his screaming.” Some kids don’t care, others do, but in reality he was probably only up there for a minute at most and certainly won’t be scarred for life. In fact, in all likelihood, he probably won’t even remember.

JP on

@shawna – you are ridiculous. With so much war and sadness in the world what’s wrong with sharing a little harmless joy with your children. It might do you good, you sound positively miserable.

liarlairpantsonfire on

ah, shawna, jow disturbed are you that you want to decide what everyone else does in their home? get over yourself.

would love to have seen the pix of bennett! kids are so cute in those special moments. wonderful memory!

kristin on

Our 19 month old screamed when we tried to get her sit on Santa ‘s lap. We will skip Santa next year. She isnt scarred by the experience. In fact she probably didnt think about it any more after we left.

Get over yourself.

Jadey on

Wow…Shawna’s getting a lot of hate here! Lighten up, I think she’s got the message!

Tara on

Shawna, why the obvious Santa hate? You must not have gotten what you wanted for Christmas!

Shawna on

LOL at people’s concern for my children’s “boring” Christmas. My children love Christmas and it is still a magical time as it is about love and giving and about our Christian beliefs. They are 12, 10, and 7 now and have never once been sad that we didn’t teach them about Santa. If you want to teach your child about Santa that’s your business. All I said was forcing a child to sit screaming on his lap while you take a picture is wrong. If Santa is the whole reason for your season then I feel sorry for you.

smartgirltoo on

Uh Huh enjoy the kisses and hugs now …cause when they turn into teens, it is “whaaaaat hug and a kiss” nooo way! LoL

SG on

lol I totally agree Twyla!

SG on

Santa is the most awesome reason of all Shawna!

Cheryl on

Hi Shawna,
I totally agree with you. A lot of parents on here are justifying torturing their children. We tell kids not to go to strangers, not let strangers touch them and we think its cute to plop them on some weird guys lap so we can have a laugh when the start bawling. You can see Santa without sitting on some strange guys lap for crying out loud. My children did.

Anonymous on

lol Crying Santa photos are the best ones! Three of my nephews were like that and they think they’re hysterical now. They’re certainly the ones we ALL remember while with the rest, we’re like, “Wait, you took a picture with Santa too?”

Mom on

You must have taught them something about Santa, even if only that in your opinion/culture/whatever, he symbolizes the commercialism of our society. Hopefully you’d include some context of the various traditions and their merging and evolving. But to teach them *nothing*….yipes.

Anonymous on

Her son sounds adorable! I’d much prefer his reaction to a new sweater than my friend’s son four-year-old who, upon opening one of his birthday presents, tried to give his sweater back! I’d take Bennett any day!

Anonymous on

me- Why skip Santa next year just because your daughter was scared of him this year? Like a lot of kids that age, she may very well be just fine with him next year! :)

Deborah- Every child goes through Santa-phobia? Um, hardly! There are plenty of us out there who were never scared of the man in the red suit and white beard! :) That being said, I agree completely with the rest of your post!

Anonymous on

I’ve had my child sit on his lap every year this is her 4th xmas. Her first she stared but was only 8 months old. 2 years after cried, yes I bought the pictures to show her in the future and this year she sat there and talked and smiled. She loves him this year.

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