Sunday, 11 December 2011

When Santa died - woops, spoiler alert!

It's a difficult decision as a parent - To Santa or Not To Santa.
You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

If everyone else's kids have a Santa childhood and you don't follow the trend then you run the risk of depriving your child of a common belief and more toys.
If you become a Santanist then you could be a liar who has to fess up later on. If you don't kill Santa when they're old enough to forgive you for a truth they've found out about from almost everywhere else, then you have to take the pretense to the grave or worse - really believe it yourself. It's heartbreaking no matter which way you look at it.

'Sorry kid we had to give Santa the sack'
'He was delivering poor quality merchandise, his prices were escalating and he left skid marks on the lounge room rug'.
'We found a competitor in China who's hard to beat and who doesn't rip off elf workers with low wages and poor working conditions'.

I don't remember the day Santa died for me actually - and maybe he hasn't - I like to keep an open mind. I suppose Santa just got left behind with Barbie whilst I climbed out my bedroom window one night. I left them both in my room getting to know each other while I went off to experiment with alcohol and cigarettes in the park with my girlfriends.

I was brought up believing in Santa and Jesus - not that the two have anything in common...

If Santa and Jesus were in a race it's hard to tell who'd win.
If it was a sack race then of course Santa would win by default.
But if they both had a handicap, Jesus with his cross and Santa with his enormous bag of toys - then it's anyone's guess - unless of course the good Samaritan was still in play.
The good Samaritan would have a hard time choosing who to help though...
Crucifix?...Sack of toys?...Crucifix?...sack of toys...hmm which one would you choose?

I wasn't one of those kids who pretended to believe in Santa so they could go on forever in a sort of pre-teen limbo getting fuzzy felt until they were old enough to marry.

I wanted to grow up.

The first grown up Christmas present to embed itself in my memory was an EP (that's extended playing record) 'Chewy Chewy' by Ohio Express and I was pretty excited.

It was just after that time in everyone's life - the 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' time - the time just before everything starts to get interesting down there and no-one wants to play that game anymore until they're sure everyone else has fuzzy felt down below as well.

That's about the time of life when the presents your big sister gives you become much more interesting than the ones from your parents. It takes them a little while to catch on that you've grown out of plastic ice cream makers and Enid Blyton and, because they're not sure what to give you anymore they watch you intently as you take the paper off, slowly, carefully, so that you can get a glimpse of whatever it is and adjust your face before they see your disappointment.

Well, your parents listen to The Sound of Music and grow vegetables and...
your big sister has a job and buys groovy clothes. She goes to see bands in night clubs where she probably talks to boys and she is soooooooo cool.

I was allowed to open one present before church on Christmas Day. Time in mass was spent wondering what else was under the tree for me at home and last minute prayers for what I wanted.

But I remember when my sister's presents to me became the ones I looked forward to, maybe that's when Santa died.


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