Monday, December 03, 2007

The Truth About Santa

I’m taking a little break from my Ode postings to have a little Christmas fun... for those of you having a good time with the song parodies, Mary’s will be up sometime tonight or tomorrow.

For today though, I’m in a Santa mood... we put up the outside lights over the weekend and I’m getting the front room and dining room carpets cleaned tomorrow so I can put up the tree this week... we’ve just started our Advent Calendar and the kids each made their Advent wreaths... I can finally turn on some Christmas music and actually enjoy it... whenever the stores or radio plays it prior to December it just cheeses me off!

Anyhoo......... somewhere in blogland, sorry I don’t remember now whose blog I was on – if you recognize it as yours just yell at me for the lack of linkage in the comments – they were discussing when they found out the truth about Santa... it got me to thinking because my daughter just figured it out this year... she has a friend a few years older than her who told her that Santa is mom and dad last year and she’s been doing some detective work since then about Santa, the tooth fairy, and the Easter Bunny, one of many reasons that I call my daughter ‘Ms. Marple’ .... to her credit, she took it all with a grain of salt and is playing along so her brothers don’t find out. She also knows not to mention it in school at all, in case there are some hold overs in the fourth grade that still get to believe in the magic of it all.

Truth be told, I don’t remember ever believing in Santa. That doesn’t mean I didn’t, only that by the time the secret was ruined I was far too young to still remember it as being a big deal. Then again, I was the youngest of three, with two very cynical and worldly brothers that were older than me. My first memory of the fat man was when I was three years old, going on four. I know this because it was the same year that I split my head open a few weeks before Christmas and some things you just remember... I remember going head first into the coffee table. I remember my mother freaking out and putting me up on the counter while she got ice and frantically called my father, as she was home along with three kids (ages 7, 5, and 3 at the time) and my dad had the only family car. I remember watching drops of blood drip past my eye, and not knowing enough to cry about it... I also remember looking down at my oldest brother, whose head was only a little taller than the kitchen sink. He looked up at me, matter of factly, and said, “Head wounds bleed profusely, you know. You could bleed to death.”

Seriously, that’s exactly what he said, the little jag off... he was always like that, though, the kid read science books for fun and he used his rocket scientist IQ to scare the bejeezus out of me... which worked, after he said that I started to cry... anyway, my dad’s friend came and took me and my mom to the hospital, I got stitches and a candy cane and I think I broke the poor nurse’s fingers because she told me to squeeze my hardest while they were giving me the stitches and she looked none to pleased by the time I left...

Anyhoo, in all the hubbub and excitement, we never made it to the mall to see Santa, and my mother was not happy about it. She kept telling my dad they had to go and he kept putting it off for a myriad of reasons (by the way, she got her own car as a Christmas gift that year and she never did thank me for the head wound)... by Christmas eve she was frantic about it and gave him quite an earful... My dad, in turn, called a guy he knew that was a cabbie and just asked the man to meet him at his office that he needed a favor. The cabbie flew right over, thinking my dad needed a ride or whatever, and my dad greeted him with a Santa suit. This poor guy had no idea what he was in for, but he went ahead and put the thing on and my dad brought him home.

The fat man came in the door with my dad with a present for each of us – mine was a cupie doll with a plastic swirl of hair and eyes that closed when you laid her on her back. And I will never forget this for as long as I live – ‘Santa’ sat each of us on his lap in turns, as he sat on my dad’s big old recliner. He asked us what we wanted and smelled like cigars. And under his breath he muttered, “Ho, ho, ho, I could be at the airport right now makin’ fifty bucks! Ho, ho, ho!”

I still think that was about the funniest Christmas Eve in the history of man. My parents weren’t normal, but God love ‘em, they did their best and they were a damn good time.


Kathy, the Bloghore said...

My daughter Jessie is in grade 4 and I think, she's pretty worldly but bless her little heart, she still believes in the magic. I truly believe that she still believes and isn't trying to just "scam" another year of great gifts - although I wouldn't put it past her - she still has those "stars" in her eyes when she talks about Santa. I'm totally digging it because I'm positive this will be the last year. You've inspired me to start writing some Xmas memories though....thanks!

jjdebenedictis said...

LOL! What an awesome story! Santa subcontracted his deliveries to UPS and now pimps his sleigh out on Christmas Eve to help people get home for the holiday.

I had a scalp wound once as a kid and yeah, those suckers bleed ridiculously.

I remember being fairly injured when my mom told me the truth about Santa. As an adult, I wonder if the whole lie is really worth the few years of fun the kids (and adults) get from it.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Kathy,

I stopped by your blog today, I'm glad you're enjoying Lottery so much... and you're lucky to still have some time with the Santa Myth... I was a little depressed my daughter was over it already. Can't wait to read your Christmas memories!

Hi JJ,

I don't know, I like the whole Santa thing, I like the memories of my own childhood Christmases past (as warped as they are) and I like putting the reindeer food on the front lawn and playing the same games with my kids...

Funny, you were here at the same time I was at your blog - I haven't commented yet, I'm still fermenting a reply, so I'll be back.

Travis Erwin said...

I've been blogging about the year I spent in hell playing a mall Santa over on my blog. If you wanna know hwo things look from the other side of the red suit pop on over nad read my Sagas of a Second- Rate Santa.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Travis,

Just caught up at your place, great great stuff!!!

debra said...

Happy Santa-ing to you. We're always swamped in December so we're generally a bit late with decorating at home. We do try to get the tree up in time for #2 daughter's Dec 21 b'day, though

Ello said...

Oh! I can't believe he said that to you guys! What a meanie! OK - I never really believed in Santa especially since he always seemed to give me school related stuff - like notebooks and pencils, blah!

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Debra,

Nice to meet you, and I hope your holiday season is fabulous! I know a lot of people who wait to put the tree up until Christmas Eve - not only do they get a great price on the tree but they make it part of their holiday festivities the night before Christmas... so really December 20th isn't very late at all.

Hi Ello,

Actually, I didn't really 'get it' at the time, and now I think it's friggin' hysterical, so no harm, no foul.

Personally, I'd love notebooks and pencils - the only thing better than the office supply store for me is an art supply store... I must have a thing for pencils ;:-)

The Anti-Wife said...

I never really got into the Santa thing. Somehow I always knew he wasn't real from a very early age. Love your story. It's a priceless memory.

Lynnette Labelle said...

I don't know what's funnier, the oldest brother's comments to his "dying sister" or Santa's mumbled comment. I can't believe you remember all of that in the eyes of a 3 year old. I guess I'd better really watch what I say and do around my 2 1/2 year old twins. LOL

Mary Witzl said...

These are great memories, Merry, and I laughed at what your brother said! When I was three, my sister, who was six, told me that my body was composed of tissues. I always believed her, and for the longest time pictured my innards as so much toilet paper.

The Santa Claus thing really messed me up as a kid. I was CERTAIN that it could not be possible, but my parents went to such lengths to convince us it was that I believed them. Not wanting to do that to my own kids, I always told them that Santa Claus's spirit was really alive and well, and oddly, they always went along with that.

I love your the fact that your father's friend was Santa Claus for you. I always cry at the part in Little House in the Prairie where Mr Edwards fords a river in flood just to bring Laura and her sisters a few trinkets. Really, that touches me so much.

Merry Jelinek said...

Hi Anti-wife,

I think a lot of kids know there's no santa, they just don't have the heart to tell their poor parents:-)

Hi Lynette,

You know, I remember bits and snatches, really - the story as a whole I pieced together some from memory and some from family stories - after my mom got over her outrage, she thought it was funny - and they didn't tell me he was a cabbie at the time, I found that out later... though I do remember the cigar smell pretty vividly.

But I've thought the same thing with my own kids - 'gee, how much of this will they remember and call me on later?'

I have another Christmas themed story that I might pull out later this month as well...

Hi Mary,

Okay, the idea of your body being filled with toilet paper is great!!! Kids can be so literal, I swear.

And I loved that episode of Little House on the Prairie... I loved the whole series, it's one of the few cases where I actually liked the tv version or movie version as well as the books.

~SUV Mama~ said...

That was heartwarming & funny all at the same time. Reminds me of my favorite Christmas song of all time-

Great bedtime reading! :)