Sunday, 4 December 2011

CLAUS, OR NOT TO CLAUS?


With Christmas fast approaching and the King becoming more aware of life around him with every day that passes, the subject of Santa Claus has come up in our house. In essence, do we or don’t we introduce the fat jolly white man in a red suit as the bearer of gifts. To be honest, I’ve always been on the fence about the notion of Santa Claus, and before you start screaming Bah Humbug, just hear me out on this.

I grew up in a large family and was number four (out of five) in a line of sisters that were keen to serve up a large dose of reality into my life. [This may explain why I created such a large world of magic and make believe inside my own head]. Hence, pretty early on, I knew that the only person inhaling the cookies that we left by the fireplace was my father. And to be frank, this never bothered me, in fact I liked the pretense that we all went along with, and I loved it even more watching my father try to be sneaky and creative about things to keep up the charade. Furthermore, I never quite understood how everyone else out there was buying the fact that there were so many so-called ‘Santas’ out there - one at every shopping mall in fact – and some of them were downright awful imposters; I mean come on, kids aren’t that gullible.

I suppose the thing is this, once you’re a parent, you suddenly feel the power of your words. Every word you say has meaning for them – even the things you don’t mean get lodged into their little sponge-like brains (note to self: stop saying the F word!). And the thought of relaying this whole fabricated world in the North Pole with elves, and Rudolph leading a sleigh across the universe (when we all know Santa uses Fed-ex) only to turn around and tear this very world down a few years later just seems cruel. Not to mention, the feminist part of me always had a hard time that Mrs. Claus never got any credit, and we all know how much she probably did behind the scenes! To make matters worse, I don’t know about you, but I never enjoyed going to some made up ‘North Pole’ at the mall sandwiched in between Hickory Farms and a pet store, to sit on some strange man’s lap and stare at his fake mustache while he asked me if I was naughty or nice (none of your business stranger danger!)

On the flip side of all this, I am in fact, a storyteller. Hell, I have centered my entire life around spinning fiction in all its imaginative glory. (Obviously I try to limit this to the page and not be one of those people that walks around making up stories about my own life, cause that's just sad – Sure, I own a plane, and I just had tea with Johnny Depp on my own private island….uh huh, sure you did). So whilst I don’t really want to lie to the King about Mr. Ho Ho Ho, I also want to cultivate his imagination in all its abundant glory (although King, please be a doctor or an engineer. The creative arts are a cruel and thankless path), and will it really hurt to let him think that some fat guy chucks presents down the chimney we don’t have? Shoot, I guess I’ll have to say Santa leaves presents on the balcony for those that don’t have chimneys. Great. Another lie I have to tell. You see, where does it end?

So as you can gather, I’m still sitting firmly on the fence whether to Claus or not to Claus. I suppose at the moment, as the King is still trying to eat the wrapping paper his gifts come in, I have a little time to make up my mind. Ho ho ho.
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