I’ve got some seriously complicated feelings that I gotta get off my chest.
Back in the day? You were the harbinger of Christmas, a jolly good man armed with a shit ton (it’s metric) of toys, and I believed, Santa. With every bit of my little, innocent heart. Then, virtually overnight, you became a laughing stock to me — a pretend dude only little babies still believed in.
During my 20s, you were irrelevant. But then I hit my 30s, and though I hadn’t settled down, many of my friends had. And they had kids. And I adored these kids. So there you were, Santa, once again a fixture, one I came to re-appreciate through the eyes of little ones whom I held dear.
By the time 40 rolled around, you were more than just some fixture I appreciated. You were real, again, Santa. For the children who dreamed you to life weren’t my friends’ kids whom I merely adored – they were my kids whom I loved with every ounce of my fiber. The very kids for whom I lived. And, if need ever be, the very kids for whom I’d die.
It felt good to have you back, Santa. What was the harm? I thought. You brought such joy. And, quite frankly, it was nice to have some leverage with the whole “naughty or nice bit.” Because let’s face it, you make December bedtimes a lay up, big daddy.
Sure. As a believer, it’s tough to reconcile the fact that you trumped Jesus, but it’s not like my children don’t know it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. It’s just that they care less about the birthday and more about the fat guy in charge of the birthday presents.
But, I gotta come clean. The whole deal is starting to bug the ever living shit outta me. At best, you’re a gateway drug to all things shiny and new. At worst, you indoctrinate a legion of impressionable youth to a culture of superficiality. During Christmastime at that. Blasphemous, really, this whole whoring of Christmas. To the point I’m semi convinced that the whole HO! HO! HO! thing is some sick and twisted double entendre.
Still, I love you, Santa. Just like I love make believe. And hope. And magic. And laughter. And my kids, Santa. Just like I love my kids. Because you make their holiday as bright as Rudolph’s nose. And that makes my holiday so very bright, too. So I reluctantly accept all the baggage you bring, both on your sled and in my head.
Besides, it’s not your job to make sure my kids don’t fall into some shallow trap. It’s mine.
Wow. I think my therapist was right. I am conflicted about you, St. Nick. So, yes, I see the bad. And I’m not taking any of it back. Because I see the good, too.
Which means we’re still on for the 24th. Milk and cookies in the den, and carrots for deer out front.
God bless you, Santa.