Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas memory…

Warning – this post contains details about Santa that may cause trauma to those who believe in Santa.

Alright then.

A bitch woke up this morning with a healthy amount of holiday stress…and I had a flash of a holiday memory that I thought I’d share with y’all.

When this bitch was a wee bitch I feared Santa…big time.  My parents had related the tale of Santa Claus and his dreaded list of good or bad kids.  The warning was clear – get your ass in gear or you’ll be shit out of luck come December.  I tried to be good…I really did!  But I usually fucked something up right around November and then spent a month fretting that Santa would make me pay at Christmas.

I was one stressed out kid!

Anyhoo, one Christmas was different.

I was beyond good…good grades, a clean room and I even resisted talking back most of the time. 

I was set! 

That new bike…my greed-based want of the moment…was mine, damnit!

A couple of days before Christmas I was well into working my father’s last nerve with my excitement and constant questioning.  At some point I asked my father what would happen if Santa got stuck in the chimney. 

Well, shit…I’d worked my ass off to achieve a level of good and I’d be damned if it all went to shit just because Santa’s full figured self couldn’t squeeze down our narrow chimney.

My father didn’t even look up from reading the paper.

He took a sip of his after-work scotch, flipped a page and said… “You better hope Santa doesn’t come down that chimney while I’m awake.  If I see an old white man in my family room I’m gonna shoot his ass on general principle.”

My jaw dropped.

I gasped.

My father had just threatened to murder Santa!

And he had a gun too!  I’d seen him clean his gun and he told me not to even think about ever touching it.

Lawd, have mercy.

I ran to my bedroom and threw myself on the bed.

What to do?  It was too late to get a letter to Santa to warn him…and if Santa got word of my father’s threat he’d skipped our house for sure.


I had just decided to wait up Christmas Eve and somehow bodily protect Santa from my father’s murderous wrath when my sister came in, rolled her eyes and said something along the lines of… “You are so stupid.  Santa isn’t real.  Dad is Santa!”

What the fuck?

“You’re lying!” I screamed.

“You’re stupid.” She replied and then offered to prove it to me.

So, that Christmas Eve we snuck out of bed and observed my father bitterly trying to assemble a new bicycle in the family room.

As he cursed and chain smoked while tossing back scotch, the fire burned (earlier that day I’d accused him of planning to burn Santa alive) and the lights blinked cheerfully on the tree.

My father looked tired but pleased with himself as the bike came together…and a warm fuzzy happiness settled in my tummy.

Daddy was Santa and that was a very good thing.

We went back to bed after agreeing to not let on that we knew the truth… ‘cause working the Santa hustle had serious benefits.

But that Christmas morning, after I woke my exhausted parents up way to early and then screamed for half an hour because I was told I couldn’t ride my new bike in the house…after all that drama I went to my father and gave him a huge hug.

I held on a little longer…squeezed a wee bit harder…and when I looked up into his eyes I knew that he knew that I knew that he was Santa.

And that was a very good thing.

My father passed away several years ago, but the memories…I hold those memories as close as I can, like a hug that lasts a little longer and squeezes a wee bit harder.

Happy happy to all the parental Santas out there…

…and yes, your chil’ren are on to you.


Anonymous said...

If I see an old white man in my family room I’m gonna shoot his ass on general principle.

Oh, thank you for that! It's been a stressful morning and I can just picture that scene! LOL

I am so very glad things are changing and that we now have Santas of different ethnicities. The original St. Nicholas was Greek, so the representation of his "descendant" as northern Caucasian annoys me almost as much as do Jesuses with blond hair and blue eyes.....

I may be among the melanin-challenged, but I *love* the world's diversity!

SaliO said...

Dear SharkFu
Your post reminded me of a happening 50+ years ago when I was just a Brat in training. My dad owned a die-casting business and occasionally received business calls at home. One December afternoon I answered the phone using my 6 year old best ever manners & the cheerful voice on the other end asked to talk to my Dad-his response to my "May I tell him who is calling?" was Santa Claus; well, after charging through the house to tell Dad I succumbed to the temptation to pick up & listen on the extension. Wrong idea! I heard my father tell Santa that he needed a ton of coal. I spent the next week or so in the throes of a pint sized depression. When Christmas (and presents) arrived that year I was stunned and shocked into real Christmas happiness tears. Although a 'friend' blasted me with her erroneous no-Santa belief later the next year, I never stopped believing cuz I knew that he had called my Dad. Dad and Mom are both gone now, but everyday I remember something about them that makes me smile or laugh.

Anonymous said...

You know Christmas is so incredible when you are a kid. I love all the Santas out there who go the extra mile for their kids. That is so wonderful. Cheers to them.

J9 said...

SharkFu, thanks forth smilenthis morning and I think my 10 year old is close to being on to me, but I hope the 7 year old holds on a little longer.

Stella said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. My Dad always knew I was a believer in everybody - it amused him no end.

Wishing you and yours the merriest Christmas ever, and our dads the best of fellowship in the hereafter.

Anonymous said...

Great story!

Ryan Hauck said...

Love it. I think I have something in my eye...

Anonymous said...

yeah, I remember the Christmas Eve I woke up and heard earnest, rednecky parents hauling my 'Christmas' into the house. We all need a childlike awakening about the spirit of giving. I was still excited the next morning, but I really wouldn't trade it for anything. We all need our own gentle, accidental ways of becoming grown.

Mobile Discos said...

Love the blog and the first comment. Personally if anyone was in my front room on Christmas day morning they would get shot cos I would know they are robbing me

L.Jackson said...

Great story! The yr my son was 5, Christmas was beyond our means..I used a reg. tree branch & hung it on the wall. Son/I did paper decorations to hang on it; grocery $$ was used to buy him a cowboy set; & dinner was cube steaks gotten from the AF mess hall. I often say that was the worse Christmas, until my grown son talked about how much fun he had then making decorations & the great
cowboy set he got. Interesting how adults/children perceive the same thing so different! May u have a blessed Christmas & good year of healing to come!

Crittersmom said...

Thanks, I read it out loud to my husband who is assembling the bike as I festify the house.We just got out of the military and we are still far from family so those holiday traditions are important.I overheard my oldest describing how the house,with excitement, will look to a sibling and it made me so happy that we have a tradition.Another sleepless night but it's worth it!

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