Simple And Funny Observations of Everyday Life

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

 

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A few nights ago, I was feverishly writing down my wish list for Santa. I had already listed comfortable, white, Fruit of the Loom underwear, warm socks, a new snow shovel, a knit ski hat, and a heating pad, when I paused for a moment to reminisce about being a child, and the anticipation of a visit from Santa Claus. My family had a tradition of reading the poem, “The Night Before Christmas,” in front of a roaring fire, as we all sipped hot chocolate, and stared in wonder at a beautifully decorated Christmas tree, and colorful stockings hung above the fireplace. I’m not sure, if I’ve ever experienced that feeling of wonder and magic since. I still have memories of lying in bed on Christmas Eve, hearing a noise, looking out the window, seeing snow fall from our rooftop, and envisioning Santa Claus disembarking from his sleigh with an enormous bag, as eight tiny reindeer waited patiently nearby.

I remember from the poem, how Santa Claus was described as being dressed all in fur from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot. He had a broad face, and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly. He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf. His eyes how they twinkled. His dimples how merry. His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. Wait a minute….. I just realized something. Except for not having a beard, I look exactly like Santa Claus! I guess that explains a few things. In November, I took a much-needed two-week vacation, stopped shaving, bundled up in my fur-lined red jacket, and enjoyed a few delicious alcoholic beverages. Well – maybe a little more than a few. I kept having smiling small children, rush up to me, jump on my lap, and recite lengthy Christmas wish lists, before departing with their frazzled parents, who usually gave me disapproving looks.

I guess, I must be getting pretty old. Can someone please tell me whatever happened to opening presents on Christmas morning, and finding Barbie or Raggedy Ann dolls, toy firetrucks, one-speed bikes, little, plastic toy soldiers, an easy bake oven, a BB gun, or possibly an amazing Sears wooden sled, with polished steel runners, and a convenient attached rope, to help navigate snow-covered hill tops? I also remember, being thrilled to find a whistle, a Hersey’s chocolate bar, and a big plump orange in my stocking on Christmas morning. Maybe, some of you younger parents with technological aptitudes, and obviously more intelligence than me, can explain a few must-have gifts on many of today’s Christmas wish lists. What in the heck, is a WIFI FPV version U818A drone with a 720P HD camera? I’m also having a little trouble getting my mind around a Kid Kraft Uptown Espresso Machine, and a Meccano – Erector M.A.X. robotic toy with artificial intelligence! I know we’re living in a modern world with amazing technological advances, but does a seven-year-old, really need the new Apple iPhone X 256gb Silver, with a OLED screen, rear telephoto camera, and password protection via facial recognition?

I remember a simpler time, when Santa lived at the North Pole with his elves, and they spent the entire year making toys for good little boys and girls. Whenever you sat on his lap, he’d always ask you if you had been naughty or nice during the past year. Pretty scary, huh? Did any of you, ever wake up on Christmas morning expecting a huge bag of coal under the tree with your name on it? Naughty or nice. Those were your only two choices. Personally, it was pretty hard for me to be nice all year round. I’ll bet, even the Pope was a naughty little boy once in a while. I would usually start being nice around late October, in the hopes of avoiding a toyless Christmas. Guess what? It always worked!

I think children these days are just too smart, and they start to lose their belief in Santa at an earlier age. I have no doubt that somewhere out there, a child is saying to his parents. “Mom, Dad; I just hacked into a weather satellite in a geosynchronous orbit above the North Pole. I’ve analyzed the data, and I can’t locate Santa’s workshop. I’ve postulated that a combination of global warming, logistical problems involving the shipment of millions of tons of raw materials to the North Pole, and the need to reduce labor costs, has facilitated a regrettable, but necessary relocation to mainland China. I’m fairly certain that when I open my presents this year, I’ll find that everything’s been made in China.”

Have any of you had to make up fantastic stories to keep your children believing in Santa for just one more year? Have you ever left a mall after a visit with Santa Claus, and had to explain why there were Santa’s on every corner, including Salvation Army bell ringers, Christmas tree salesmen, and a Santa with a sign that said, “Repent, the End is Near?” What about your child finding a closet full of presents, or the fact that half their presents are clothes, or things they didn’t ask for. I don’t know about you, but a few, little white lies were worth it, to see my children’s faces on Christmas morning.

Before I move on to another simple observation of everyday life, I was wondering about something. Is it just me, or does Santa seem to be getting skinnier every year? I know we live in a health-conscious society. I also know that losing weight and eating right is good for our health. I may even want to lose some weight this Holiday season, but come on – not Santa! Santa’s always been big. Every year he eats billions of cookies, and drinks millions of gallons of milk. He’s magic. He can handle the extra calories. He can fit down your chimney, can’t he? I was at the mall this past week and was a witness to one of the skinniest, most pitiful looking Santa’s I had ever seen. Some of the kids, who sat on his lap, weighed more than he did. Santa’s elf was bigger than him, for Heaven’s sake! I almost went to a local coffee shop to buy him an extra-large latte with whipped cream, and a couple of sticky buns, to fatten him up a little. Maybe this year, I’ll leave Santa a six-pack of beer, pork rinds, and a huge chunk of ring bologna. By this time next year, he’ll be back to his old self.

“Ho, ho, ho. Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

16 Replies to “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

  1. Good post Patrick! I agree with you, Santa is not Santa without that rotund belly! It is from there that Santa’s jolly ho ho hos emit that lovely greeting. Children these days are more into interactive games of IT capabilities. It is sad in that, things become commercialized for Christmas. I do pity the future generations whereby Millennials grow up and have their own kids – the true old fashioned Christmas can get lost over time! I sincerely hope not!

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    1. The good news is that I’ve been on a diet, have lost over twenty pounds, and my belly’s getting smaller. The bad news is that by next year, I’ll look like one of Santa’s Elves. I’ll still have my Christmas spirit though. Thanks for stopping by, and best wishes. Ho, Ho, Ho. Hey, I’ve still got it!

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  2. Yes! After teaching preschool for over thirty years, I can tell you that children really want dolls, trucks, blocks, games… all the things children have loved forever. Children haven’t changed; parents are swayed by the media and pressure to have. What a shame.

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    1. I’m glad you’ve gotten to see many children up close and personal, and been able to witness them at Christmas. It must be wonderful. I’m also happy to know they haven’t lost their love of simple toys. I agree that many parents go overboard.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The over top christmas list is because society has changed. It’s not all the children’s fault, we are living in the time of technology and expensive toys. For example it is hard to deny your 12 year old the new iphone cause everyone has one in their class or is getting one for Christmas. Its not per say spoiling I would say, but given into yes the other parents. I don’t see it changing but I don’t necessarily think it’s the children’s or parents fault. It use to anger me too, but I kinda had to get over it and adapt to our new materialistic driven society. Even at my age I don’t understand people’s obsessions with their cell phones, half the time I leave mine at home. Yet look at how many talk loudly on their phone in stores and even ignore that you are trying to get passed them, or worse getting in car accidents cause texting and driving. I do not get today’s society at all and I feel old fashion every day and I am not even 30 yet.

    I found out Santa wasn’t real when I was about 6, heard it from some older children in the school yard, my brother and I went home to ask our parents that night what the deal was with Santa..They gave up the gig and was honest. Told us they were Santa all this time. It didn’t take the joy out of Christmas, I don’t see any harm in it myself. It didn’t take away my innocence, it was a nice thought to know our parents spoiled us with gifts instead of some strange man. But that was just my experience.

    You want my opinion on Christmas today in society? We could be here all day, but I will just say though Christmas remains my favorite holiday still, there is a lot of faults in it. Society is really beginning to go over board with a holiday that was actually preached by Jesus to do more than one time of the year. Christmas is and never was about presents for your kids. It was about spending time with loved ones, help out the poor and more misfortunate and all those great morals, except do it everyday of the year and through that maybe we can create a better world. Not a Christmas goes by that I actually do take a bit of time to myself to think of the people alone on Christmas, the poor ones who don’t even get a Christmas, who knows that everyone even know what Christmas is. And it haunts me, it really does. Christmas is also one of the highest rates of suicides. Not to be a downer, but it’s true. :/ Somewhere along the way society missed this memo and hyped it up as some huge fantastic holiday and we are pressured to buy all the gifts for our kids and the craziness of shopping. Big bulk stores are probably the biggest receiver on Christmas and benefit the most from our selfishness and spoiling rotten kids.

    I wouldn’t just go back and buy cheaper gifts or change Christmas morning for children, I would go back and teach them the true morals behind the idea of Christmas. Well both I would. 🙂

    Great post! Sorry for ranting and I can definitely relate. I feel old too at Christmas and wonder what the heck is going on around me most of the time.

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    1. Thank you for a wonderful comment. I read every word, and agree with you. I’m glad you still have Christmas spirit. I often wish I could do more for those less fortunate at Christmas. I also heard about suicide rates. Thanks again, and take care.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! Thanks for your lovely post and reply. 🙂 Yes I I still have the Christmas spirit even if society sometimes tries to get in the way of it. Haha. Yes I wish I could do more too for the less fortunate, but I do help and lend a hand any time of the year whenever the opportunity is given. Even if it’s a small gesture it can go a long way. You can’t change society, but you can always make a small difference while on this earth. Yes the suicide rates is astonishing, and I always wonder why. But a lot of it has to do is we hype up Christmas so much, it makes those people who are already alone feel even more alone at this time of year. It’s very sad. Which is why I believe greeting and even giving a smile to strangers is so important, because the smallest gestures can lighten up someone’s day.

        You take care as well and Merry early Christmas. 🙂

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  4. Love your comments about Santa. I have to share this story, which sort of sums up everything I hate about people. I was once at book club. A member told me I was a horrible parent because I lied to my daughter and told her there was a Santa Claus. I mean, she ripped into me saying that my daughter would never trust me, I was feeding her delusions……it was insane. She was politely told not to come back to book club….but I could not believe th3 venom.
    But in a positive note, I liked your post and I still believe

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    1. Thank you for the story. I’m glad you did the right thing. We live in a tough, and sometimes cruel world. It doesn’t hurt to let our children hold on to their innocence for a little while longer. They’ll thank us later – mine did. I also still believe in Santa. Not like I used to, but I believe in miracles, and that there are real Santa’s out there, bringing a lot of joy.

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