What did Jesus
ever do for
on his birthday?
Last night the Berkeley Ward had their Christmas Party and, as expected, one Jolly Old Elf made an appearance. And as I watched the kids go up to see him, and I thought about the Amazing Feats allegedly performed by said Elf each Christmas Eve, I had the idea for a short story wherein it is learned that in order for said Elf to accomplish said feats, a yearly sacrifice of one child is required.
Then I remembered I just wrote a short story wherein Santa is murdered by a ten-year-old child and thought I had better hold off an any more Bloody Christmas Stories for a while lest people get the Wrong Idea about Theric.
Then I was talking to my good friend the Chemist and he was telling me that he has been trying to instill his Rational Ideals in his daughter S-Boogie (no relation), but she insists on being faithful.
"You know, Santa's just pretend, honey."
I was one of the faithful myself, and my final apostasy from the Cult of Santaism may be the reason I now cover him in blood while carrying signs outside Santa Square.
You see, I didn't fully give up on Santa till high school.
Here's the thing: I knew Santa wasn't real like, say, I was real. I knew I could make up his history and that my version was as good as anyone else's. Ergo, Santa was pretend. And this I knew.
But I was also a possessor of Perfect Knowledge. You see, I saw Santa. I was, oh, eight? And I SAW SANTA COME THROUGH MY FRONT DOOR AFTER EVERYONE ELSE WAS ASLEEP AND PUT PRESENTS UNDER THE TREE WHILE I HID BEHIND THE HALL DOORWAY.
I still don't know how to explain it. It's one of my clearest memories of childhood. I saw Santa, and he was not my dad and he was not some old guy from church or a volunteer fireman or any of the other Santas I regularly saw. He Was Santa.
And so, notwithstanding all the evidence to the contrary, I believed.
I think this is why I have no desire to teach my child about this devious elf. Santa is dead to me. It took a long time, and now that it's over, It Is Over.
Someone once said to me--this was a couple years ago--that one of their sibs was confused when they learned Santa is a Big Lie because his/her parents had spoken of Santa in the exact same way they spoke of Jesus. Was Jesus a big hoax too?
I was raised to treat Santa as a religious icon. But only with Santa was I warned not to tell others he was Fake and thus Ruin Their Christmas. Denying Jesus was never given the same weight as Denying Santa. I'm sure this was just because only the notion of Denying Jesus was untenable, but how was a child to know?
It seems to me that two benevolent, godlike presiders over a single holiday is one too many. I don't know what rôle Santa will play in our house as the Big O ages, but I don't want there to be any confusion over which god is the god of Christmas.
Santa's just pretend, honey.
He wasn't at the manger.
Santa's just pretend.
. . . . .
Excuse me now while I go cry in my eggnog.
last week's svithe