Print Story Zat You, Santa Claus?
By sugar spun (Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 05:10:50 AM EST) (all tags)
If only Santa had got stuck up the chimney.

When I was about five years old, the older kid who lived across the road took great pleasure in informing me that Santa was not in fact real, and that my parents were responsible for the gifts that turned up before dawn on Christmas morning. This was, of course, utterly devastating news. It was even more devastating than events a few minutes later, when she gave me an almost-crippling Chinese burn and told me that if I told anyone I knew, then my parents would have to give me away.

Eventually my mother talked it out of me, once she'd extricated me from under the sofa and stopped my hysterical sobbing with a chocolate biscuit. Reassurances came from her that That Girl was a mean and horrible liar whose pants were assuredly aflame. But the damage was done: I was a very smart kid, and knew that she would say that, wouldn't she? Clearly some further machination was required, and since I had a track record of pulling on the beard of any and all grotto Santas we visited, family members in costume were always going to be deemed Too Risky.

After some serious thought (and, I suspect, a fair amount of marijuana or a couple of bottles of wine), my mother hit on the perfect solution. She would hire a Santa to visit! The telephone directory proved useless; Santa was unlisted. The local grotto Santa declined, shuddering in horror as he rubbed his genuinely-bearded chin. My mother, however, was determined, and she had the fateful brainwave: a Santagram.

A single phone call to the local stripper service secured the services of what, she was assured, would be an early morning visit from Santa himself. Santa would be briefed (hehe) not to remove any of his clothing and to collect a sack of gifts on his way into the house to distribute to the eager child within.

Christmas morning dawned, but well before it did, I was downstairs rummaging around in a fit of horror, wondering if it was true that, if you didn't believe in Santa you didn't get any gifts. Eventually, an hour after the scheduled arrival time, the doorbell rang and my near-hysterical mother hastened to the door to placate the savage beast I was fast becoming.

And in he walked. Santa himself. The only problem being, well, his appearance. Not to mention his extreme drunkenness. What the kind receptionist who took my mother's order for rent-a-Santa had failed to explain was that this Santa had been out at Christmas parties all night and was accordingly as drunk as a pack of elves.

The appearance was the bigger problem. Santa was ... unorthodox. He was barefoot, he was beardless and he was black.

In his defence, as my mother fled to open a bottle of gin to wash away the full horror of having broken Christmas for her (then) only, (still) much-beloved daughter, he did answer my questions as to his failure to resemble Santa.

Santa always goes barefoot into people's homes, so he doesn't leave sooty footprints on their carpets.

He shaves his beard each Christmas Eve, so the soot of a million chimneys doesn't matt the beard beyond redemption.

Skin tone, ditto. Chimney debris turned Santa black (and would it work for Michael Jackson? Who knows?).

Still, these minutiae didn't concern me unduly. Santa had brought me a goodly haul of gifts, and damn it I was the happiest kid there ever was. I don't even remember noticing him leave, although my mother tells me he jingled some bells in his pocket (lost his boots and his beard to drunken partygoers; kept a handful of bells and the integrity of his pockets; WTF?) to signify a special communication from Rudolph. AND he jingled them loud enough for the little bitch across the street to hear it, see him, and be uproariously envious.

Thanks, Santa. It was fun.
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Zat You, Santa Claus? | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)
Now that's an anecdote by Phage (2.00 / 0) #1 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 05:27:29 AM EST
What a shit neighbour ! I almost envy you.

The Santa Claus point by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 05:34:25 AM EST
Children are sometimes obliged to provide this information to other children. Five is a bit young. When said children are about to start secondary school and will otherwise have the shit kicked out of them for sheer ignorance, it is acceptable. No matter what their parents might think.

[ Parent ]
She was troubled. by sugar spun (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:27:41 AM EST
She used to lie down in the road and pretend to have been run over.

It's only now I remember and write that, that it seems weird to me. Children are self-absorbed.

[ Parent ]
Troubled ? by Phage (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:40:53 AM EST
Minor sadism, mental and physical. Perhaps she had a bad home where power was the game...Wonder how she turned out ?

[ Parent ]
No idea. by sugar spun (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 11:34:05 PM EST
They moved away and were replaced by a couple with an infant. The infant obviously wasn't capable of telling me unpleasant truths, so I ceased to be interested.

[ Parent ]
I never taught my daughters about Santa by lm (4.00 / 4) #3 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:02:48 AM EST
When she started to ask what all the hubbub was about, I explained how legends had accumulated around the figure of Saint Nicholas of Myra in Asia Minor who has been dead for centuries by this point in time.

A year later we were in the local discount store around Christmastime. Spying a long line of children, she stood up in the cart to get a better view. She asks me what all the kids were lined up for. I said that they were waiting in line to see Santa Clause. She looked at me incredulously and shouted at the top of her five year old lungs ``DON'T THEY KNOW THAT SANTA IS DEAD!??!?!''

The reactions of most of the parents was priceless.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
I love that child. by sugar spun (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:25:04 AM EST
Although my five-year-old self would have hated her.

[ Parent ]
thank you. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 07:56:03 AM EST
your story has considerably brightened my morning.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
Crazy man.. by littlestar (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 12:30:43 PM EST
just crazy. And, hilarious.

It's so great that it was still a great Christmas.. hahaha... that's just the greatest thing about kids, as long as they get their presents they are willing to REALLY suspend their disbelief indefinitely. That's adaptability at its finest.


Those were innocent days indeed. by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 07:31:37 AM EST
Back before Michael Jackson overdosed on tranquilisers.

Zat You, Santa Claus? | 10 comments (10 topical, 0 hidden)