We’re talking about Santa here so make the kids go watch Sponge Bob or something. I’ll wait…..
Okay. When do you break it to the kids that Santa was made up by the Coca Cola Bottling Company? I’m sorry. You didn’t know? Red suit, reindeer flying, down the chimney (which still sounds naughty to me), it all came from an ad campaign.
I should start from the beginning and my beginning starts in 1966. We were stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. I really wanted to have the new Green Beret G.I. Joe. Did I mention I was eight years old? Oma and I went to Toyland. After some world class, only child whining, I walked out with a brand new Green Beret G.I. Joe.
I was in so much trouble. If my parents saw me playing with it they’d know I had Oma buy it for me and I was already in trouble for conning her all the time. What to do? It was Christmas time. The tree was up already. So I wrapped Green Beret G.I. Joe. Wrote: “To Walter. From Santa” on it and stuffed it way in the back of the presents that were already accumulating.
Christmas Eve, Dad pulled out all the stops. After I had been put to bed, his drunk ass was out in the snow. Shaking the sleigh bells and throwing rocks on the roof. It was the Whole Nine Yards. Mom came into my room. “Did you hear something?”, she asked. “Listen.” I listen to Dad. More rocks. Jingle, jingle. So she rousted me out of bed to “Catch Santa”.
We just missed him. But it was Christmas Eve and Germans don’t wait until Christmas Morning so it was PRESENT TIME. Yep all the stuff that Santa JUST LEFT was there. After all was ripped open, Dad said, “Well, that’s about it.” I said, “Wait a minute there’s one still in the back”. Years later Dad told me he looked at Mom and Mom looked at him and for a moment (just a moment) he thought that maybe Santa was real.
Fast forward to last year. Rosie (age 10) and I are in Wal Mart and she’s really pinning my ears back with all these Santa questions. Apparently the kids at school are saying that Santa isn’t real and Rosie’s thinking about stoning the blasphemers. Being a smart kid she’s checking with Dad before opening a whole can of whoop ass. The problem was that I had been Santa one year for the Indian Springs Kids.
So deep down Rosie knew and I knew the jig was up.
Deflecting the question,
I said, “What do you think?’
“I think they’re lying.”, she said.
Dad, “Do you think Santa’s real?”
Dad, “Then he is.”
Boy I ducked that one. I was so proud. Then it went south.
“Does that mean that if you believe in Santa he’s real and if you don’t believe in Santa he’s not?”
And there in the electronics department, in the wink of an eye, my daughter stopped being a kid and became a young lady.
“Yes”, I said “and now you know the Secret.”
I told her that she was now a Keeper of the Santa Secret and it came with responsibilities.
1. You have to keep the secret from little kids who don’t know.
2. YOU are Santa now. We are all Santa and you have to be kind to each other like Santa would.
3. Since you’re Santa now, you have to bring the presents.
This is her first Christmas as Santa and she’s got her shit together. She has saved and has a present budget bigger than mine. She was present shopping last weekend. It sounds like everyone in the family will get something special. She has written her letter to Santa. But this time it has pictures, prices and suggested stores to get the stuff at. She gets that from me but how I do not know because I didn’t tell her I issued “Shopping Orders” to my parents.
In conclusion. Do you have to lie to your kids about Santa? Of course! Rule Number One. But stop lying when THEY figure it out. Then teach them to be Santa and Keep Christmas Well throughout the year.
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night.