Note: this is a re-run – I wrote it for Christmas last year. I may run it again for Christmas next year.
There have been complaints in the comments section that I am a “scrooge,” and am less than completely enthusiastic about Christmas. I beg to differ – I do think Christmas is the most magical time for children, I’ll give it that.
When I was a kid, I specifically remember being deeply suspicious of this “Santa Claus” B.S. at the early age of 5. I remember as I was sent to bed on Christmas eve that year “so that Santa could come,” trying very hard to stay awake long enough to catch Dad swiping the milk and cookies we left out for Santa. I just knew Santa was a farce…fiction…a fraud perpetrated on the most innocent among us. Not dissimilar to the concept of “quality public education” in Texas, come to think of it.
However, this particular Christmas Of My Deep Santa Suspicion was also the very same Christmas in which I had asked for a shovel for Christmas – so that I could dig a heffalump trap, just like in the Winnie The Pooh books. So, yeah, Santa seemed totally fishy to me, but I had no problem completely believing in heffalumps. This, despite the fact that they never even caught a heffalump in the damn books. But it wasn’t for lack of Pooh and Piglet trying!
Anyway, of course I couldn’t stay awake that night, so presumably Dad absconded with the milk and cookies as usual. And when I awakened the next morning, not only did I get my shovel, but I also got, from “Santa,” my older sister’s hand-me-down record player. This turn of events only added to my confusion, as it intersected with my admittedly-rudamentary understanding of property rights. It was obviously my sister’s record player. But it said “From Santa” on the tag. So, I wondered, does Santa just get to waltz into my sister’s room, swipe her record player, and give it to me? WHAT KIND OF A COMMIE PINKO CON MAN IS THIS “SANTA” CHARACTER ANYWAY??!
The bottom line: the record player played records just fine, and while the shovel worked great and I ultimately had heffalump traps all over the back yard, I never once caught a heffalump. I maintain it’s because of the atrocious lack of concern for endangered species. And neither Mom nor Dad ever got caught playing Santa – I just never could stay up to catch them.
Or…who knows. Maybe there really was a Santa Claus after all. But if so, I really think he owes my sister an apology.
Here’s hoping everybody had a very merry Christmas. Happy now?
And, oh yeah, if anybody has any hot tips about where the heffalumps might be hiding in Big Bend, I’ve got a shovel.
[Stay tuned - next time I get in the mood to share personal childhood holiday stories, I might share the time Dad came home with the little baby chicks for Easter, which didn't have the good sense to die like most Easter chicks, and became full-grown terrorist chickens]