Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa is a funny fella...

I was finishing off my shopping today (I've realised the weakness of the sterling pound vs the euro and admit it probably would have been a LOT easier to do Internet shopping but alas...) and overheard several tired, stressed out parents use Santa Clause as a good ole' bribe for their children. Nearly all of them spoke about him, in what I would describe as 'whisper spit' - that being low hushed voices that were very snappy.

I heard one boy whine about wanting something or other NOW, and the gentle mother turned around and said 'No, you can put that on your final list to Santa'. Final list??? When does the last draft go out? How many letters do children write these days? What if they forget and need express post and express post isn't fast enough? If this child was smart, he should probably completely change his wishes on the last night, knowing that the parents would have already fulfilled the original list but then would feel guilty that they didn't have time to get this new list sorted so all in all he'd bag a few bonus presents.

Oh, but that wouldn't exactly be the spirit of Christmas.

Then, whilst wandering the aisles of the toy shop, I heard one very loud mother say to her son 'Oh Jack, did you see that rocket jet set? Wouldn't that be really cool to get for Christmas?'. To which I heard no reply. And then she went on 'Wow, wouldn't you be reaaaaally happy if you got that for Christmas? That would be great wouldn't it?'. Again, I heard no reply, so I'm assuming Jack was a bit unenthusiastic and just shrugging his shoulders. 'What do you think Jack? Good isn't it?? I think anyone would be pleased to get that on Christmas morning....? '.

Now if Jack was good at analysing sales pitches in his head, he'd probably figure out that Mother had most likely purchased said overpriced, easily breakable, little itty bits 'Rocket Jet Set' for Jack already. After all, if she hadn't, wouldn't it be a bit mean to go on and on about it? I guarantee she wouldn't be so enthusiastic about it in the middle of April for example.

Then I heard another Mum say to her daughter 'If you don't put that back RIGHT NOW, Santa Clause won't come at all!'. What an impossible thing to say on so many levels. Again, these children should be thinking of their feet and try and work out logically how that would be possible. Does Mum have Santa's mobile number to cancel him?

But who am I to mock these children? I was told by two people when I was eight "about Santa". The facts laid out in front of me. And I refused to believe them.

It was only when I was ten (shockingly old I know!), and three girls were laughing at another girl's innocence in my class in a kind of 'Can you *beee-lieve* her?? Gah!" that the whole world turned to slow motion, as her words filtered through my head, all the pieces of the jigsaw came together and I meekly laughed along with them. Talk about peer pressured bitchiness!

Wait, now what was my point?

Oh yes, spirit of Christmas. And children....