Friday, November 18, 2011

Here Comes Santa Claus

An unnamed little boy is playing the track over and over again. Jackson 5's Santa Claus is Coming to Town is blaring through the speakers accompanied by the boy who is belting it out with equal gusto. This same soloist when asked last year what he thought about Santa Claus replied, "He's the guy that wears the red suit and flies around and goes down chimneys."

"Do you think Santa is real?"

"No, that's ridiculous!"

We seriously couldn't convince him if we wanted to! I have to admit I was somewhat relieved. It always felt a little strange trying to explain that Jesus is real, and then in the next breath saying that Santa is real too. Although, now I was worried that he would be the scroogiest little boy around and that I would be the bad mother who made him that way. Like when a sweet little lady asked him what Santa brought him for Christmas. She was caught off guard by the then 3 year old's reply. "Santa's not real!" The incredulous three year old's look implied, "You're old and you should know better." Meanwhile I'm frantically whispering to him, "It's ok to pretend!!"

I don't mean to trash Santa, because I remember being pretty excited about him as a kid, and it is fun to pretend. I do wonder though. Are we a little ridiculous in our Santa obsession in North America?

The other day I was chatting with my hairdresser about Santa Claus. (Don't ask me how that came up.) I had said that I thought St. Nicholas was a real man in history who gave gifts to poor people. "Ya, and then the story evolved and we took it a little far," she laughed.

She may be right. After all we did put him in a red suit and made him fly.

So this year we asked our two year old what he thought about Santa. He shrugged his shoulders and replied, "I don't know." Then he went back to eating his supper. He seriously doesn't care about Santa.

Maybe this year we will teach them about Saint Nicholas. He seems like someone worthy to be remembered.