I’m about to say something so subversive, so controversial, that many of you will become incensed and never read anything written by me again; not only these attempts at humor, but hard news such as: Asteroid Headed Toward Particular Person’s House and No One Else’s. Details Below. (I also have a novel I’ve been working on so you can avoid that one as well, just in the spirit of full disclosure.) Are we all clear? I’m going to say this and once you’ve read this, you can’t unread it. OK. Here goes; your kid does not need to sit on Santa’s lap.
There are those of you who are suddenly exhausted and that’s from the adrenaline that is now draining from your system because you were expecting rage and you’re now puzzled and slightly disappointed. “Of course, Shehe (a unisex name) doesn’t need to see Santa,” You’re probably saying as you wipe the sweat from your eye. “Shehe wants to.”
“In fact ,” You continue. “Little Shehe has a list, adorably scribbled with crayon on my finest stationary. to present to the real Santa, even though, since Macy’s ate up Marshall Field’s, the Chicago tykes are out of luck.”
I agree with you about Marshall Field’s and remember stationery? Many us, mostly women had matching sheets of paper which coördinated with the envelopes which we used to correspond with one another, not because it was charming, but because phone calls were very expensive and we wanted to be sure another person hadn’t been dragged away by a sabre tooth tiger or other prehistoric animal. The paper was an expense but lighter than the stone tablets we had used prior.
Yes, you’re right, I was stalling. I had something to say and you misunderstood and I could leave it at that, but since I’ve come this far…
Shehe doesn’t have to sit on Santa’s lap and sometimes…sometimes Shehe doesn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap and here’s why: Although Santa seems benevolent and harmless on TV and in books and the occasional really atrocious movie, (why are movies and programs about Santa, made before the 1970s almost always heartwarming and reassuring if you don’t count Santa Claus Conquers the Martians and thereafter, a little off putting and less then friendly. Even Tom Hanks, who my husband credits for everything good, is a little scary in The Midnight Express.)
Anyway, that’s my opinion.
Yes, you’re right, I not only left the last paragraph concerning Santa unfinished but I’m trying to weasel out on the premise of this column, which is…stop forcing your small person to sit on the laugh of the jolly old elf at the mall. First of all, he’s hardly an elf, he’s lest elfin than your average football player, even if that football player is European and is actually a player of soccer because Americans are always right about stuff.
Don’t misunderstand me and I couldn’t blame you if you did, because my writing tends to make so many twists and turns that it might be perceived as not having a point when it simply has no map. If your small-sized person, or even Santa matching person, wants to sit on Santa’s lap, (Santa presumably knew what he was getting into when he signed up to be jolly and not take notice of anyone’s weight,) then that person should have a set on Mr Claus’s ample lap and read off their wish list. For those of you who want to stay longer than it takes to accomplish this, remember, Santa has security.
However, if your very tiniest of human beings writes out their list, begs to visit Santa, which requires driving, not only over the river but through the darn woods which don’t have street lights and then parking amidst people who consider finding the a spot akin to proving their worth as a human being (see if it’s me before you give me the proverbial finger,) making your way through shoulder to shoulder shoppers who are waiting for one more shove before going all rabid badger on people and then standing in a line long enough to make you think that Paul McCartney may be giving out kisses at the other end, (I thought I’d give Chris Martin a break, plus I’m not a big sharer, in addition to the fact that Paul McCartney is the longest living cute boy and therefore I, as would many, get in the longest of lines to receive a kiss and tell him how I love him more than all my fellow liners,) only to find, that once your tot is face to face with Santa, the old guy strikes terror into their tiny heart, please, please give them a tiny break.
There, I’ve said it. Said what? You missed it? Well, I surely didn’t mean for that to happen! Well, bless us everyone and Merry Christmas!
All right, what I, in essence, said was; stop handing your frantically terrified less-than-adult person to a strange man and demanding that they sit atop his enormous lap and stay there while evidence is attained before taking them home and tucking them into bed and leaving them to their vision of large, white haired men carrying them off while their parents wave and take pictures.
There, I’ve said it. I’m sure some of you are angry and maybe even accusing me of being a socialist for whatever reason, but that’s my stand and I’m sticking to it, mostly because I’ve been eating Christmas treats while writing this and finding that typing and candy are not only mutually exclusive but, most likely and expensive fix.
I have this tirade once a year with little to no support, much like those boys at the barricade in Les Miz. Something usually sparks my indignation on behalf of my favorite sub-section of people: the little people made from scratch in homes (and less than savory locations) across the nation who have yet to differentiate between fantasy and reality and I don’t mean my mom, although she would qualify.
We all know the real Santa Claus is a person who lives up North and is currently wondering if Global Warming is going to make his home and workplace into a lake side villa. At the same time, he is generally loving the children of the world and making plans to sneak into their homes in the middle of the night to leave items in accordance with their behavior which he has been monitoring and judging during the previous year. He’s just that jolly!
Why should that scare little folks? Who knows! They’re probably a little put off at Halloween when, dressed up as princesses and superheroes, they travel door-to-door to receive candy when someone suddenly some one arises from dead leaves with a meat cleaver and threatens to murder them. They can be sensitive as a group.
So, how about, when your child cuddles up with Santa to tell him what they hope to find under the tree, we take a photo to cry over when they are old enough to have children of their own but don’t, just to spite you. And, when they go rigid with fear, pee their pants and beg their primary caregiver not to deliver them over to the focus of their fear, how about we either sit with them, (giving adults the chance to hand over their list of Christmas desires which will probably send the old guy skittering into obscurity) or let them stand close to, but not on top of, Santa, or, tip our hats (go on, do it, it feels so Fred Astaire-y) wish Kris Kringle a Merry Christmas and try again next year?