Jason Wilson in The Smart Set:

Screenhunter_12_2I write a column about booze every other week for a major newspaper, and I often travel outside of the country, sometimes simply to drink some type of alcoholic beverage that I will eventually write about in my column. I also happen to be a father of two young boys. It therefore may not come as a total shock to learn that I am regularly seized by the terrifying notion that I am the worst, most horrible parent in the world. These moments usually strike when, say, I am sampling a vintage port on a lovely Portuguese afternoon or tasting a Dutch gin a stone’s throw from Amsterdam’s Red Light District, and then suddenly realize that back home in New Jersey it’s early morning and my wife is likely getting the kids ready for school.

Perhaps this is the reason that I recently took my oldest son, 5-year-old Sander, along with me on a business trip to Finnish Lapland so he could meet the “real” Santa Claus. So many acquaintances have asked me what on Earth possessed me to take a 5-year-old to the Arctic Circle in the middle of December — I’m still not exactly sure myself, but I’m guessing parental guilt played as big a role as any.

Even the elves at Santa’s Office, in Santa Claus’ Village, in Rovaniemi, Finland seemed incredulous that we should come from so far away to stand in line for something we could have experienced at the local mall. “You’re from USA?” asked the “elf” who logged our reservation to meet Santa, the one wearing a pointy hat and nametag that read “Lara,” who arched her eyebrow with the sort of disdain that only a local teen can convey to a visiting tourist. “What brings you all the way to Rovaniemi? That is a very long way to come just to see Santa Claus.”

More here, including a very nice slide show.