Sunday, December 20, 2009

Some Coal For Your Stocking.

Or Merry Christmas, Motherfuckers!

How would you feel if, as a kid, you heard rumors of a happy, fat, possibly drunk White dude who, on Christmas Eve, goes from house to house to drop a load of goodies on good kids? To add to the legend, this guy has countless movies, TV shows & sightings, starting the day after Thanksgiving, so there's no doubt in your young mind that he exists. You may even see him at the mall or the grocery store with a friendly smile & an inviting lap, & even if your parents warned you about personal contact with costumed adults, they make an exception with this cat, even leading you by hand to receive his embrace. Really though, I'm not too partial to my own kids sitting on my lap, so one can't help but wonder about this type of guy's agenda. Never mind the fact that your "house" is covered in security bars & devoid of a chimney, urban mythology says that this clown will be there, satisfying all you material needs, no matter the obstacles. My aunt used to tell my cousins that Santa had a spare key, & that's how he got in. No dice. My uncle had the spare key, & in between crack cocaine binges & trips to the pawn shop, he was nowhere to be found. Anyway, if Santa's not there to deliver the goods, you're left with 364 days to ponder your apparent wrong doing, & correct your mistakes.

I was never allowed to buy into the Santa stereotype, as a kid. My father & mother worked damn hard all year long, too hard to hand over credit to some imaginary character for any possible happiness I may receive. That would be like if I was complemented on how cute I was as a kid by a stranger, them pointing at me, & saying "hey, he did all the work!" Some of my fondest Christmas memories are me looking at my gifts, & always finding a few that said "from Santa". Word? To my mom's credit, though, she used to drink a lot. Personally, I think the real reason the Santa myth was created was to be a convenient scapegoat for the masses. Not only could immeasurable amounts of children's behaviors be modified, but if mom &/or dad can't afford gifts, blame it on Santa, or in essence, the kids themselves. That's some fucked up shit.

"Sorry Propecia, I guess you were bad this year. Santa didn't bring you anything."

Maybe my parents did themselves a disservice by not letting me believe; perhaps they would've saved tons of money Hot Wheels race car tracks & gadgets that wouldn't survive to see the summer. I've always been fascinated by how America chooses to "control" it's child populous by means of boogie men, but fear is indeed a powerful tool in brainwashi-I mean leadership. Santa may have been the lower classes "get out of Christmas free" card, & they didn't know it. Goes to show the long reach of capitalism, word to Valentine's Day. The whole ideology behind gift-giving is for the gifter to express to the giftee whatever sentiment is implied. In laymen's terms, I want you to know that it's from me.

Or, as my dad always said, "Santa Claus my ass..."

& to think, on a day sanctioned to celebrate Jesus Christ, we expected to buy our bad ass kids $200 worth of reward. I say, fuck Santa, fuck Christmas, & buy your kids all the bull shit they deserve when they deserve it, i.e. good grades. If, as a society, it's up to a stranger to motivate our kids to be the best they can be, we are failing miserably.

When my kids were small, we would go outside & look at the neighborhood Christmas lights on our block. One year, one of them asked me where our Christmas lights were. I pointed at our house, & said "you see those lights on in the house? Merry Christmas." A little later, they unwrapped dinner. All jokes aside, although I've never celebrated what some would call a traditional Christmas, I've always attempted to make sure my kids were happy when they woke up that morning. My parents did it for me, so if nothing else, it's a learned response. Condition stimulus, if you will. A psychological reaction to ambient jingle bells & faux snowfall draped over anything from store window displays to front yard nativity scenes. But, also, as tradition demands, my kids have never received a present from Santa. You haven't lived until you've watched a requisite Christmas movie with a sarcastic six year old who knows better than to believe in this St. Nicholas dude.

Sometimes I forget how gullible & naïve people can be, in regards to what real life is. My son & I were having a rather detailed conversation one day, in a Burger King, about how & why people allow their kids to believe in Santa. I never stopped to survey the folks around us, which there was quite a few, & a mother decided to not only listen, but include herself into our conversation. In front of her kid, she started actually rationalizing why Santa might be real. Instead of dismissing her with a "crazy bitch" label, I engaged in the conversation, with the same intensity as I did with my child. Her final statement, obviously out of sheer frustration was, "Well, you gotta let a kid be a kid though, right?", to which I replied "True, & I teach mine not to lie. What type of example would I be if I didn't follow that simple instruction?". He son was intently listening the entire time. End game.

Happy holidays, people.