Friday, December 2, 2011
Sigh. So, I won’t start with the trite “it’s that time of year” opening I was planning on getting this party started with. The reality is, the time of year really matters little. Yes, there are lights. My daughter is very intrigued. She gets all stuttery when we drive past the way-way-wayindeer. All can we have some Mummah and whatnot. Glitter and gum-droppy when we see all the Christmas toys on display, seemingly everywhere: on TV, at the malls we rarely go to, in the doorbusters ads of the Sunday papers. She swoons sheepishly when we talk about one particular character: Saint Friggin Nick.
As former (but forever) New Yorker I’m not talking about the cross road to 1-2-5th, But Claus himself. Sinter. Noel. Yeah, him. I’m not nearly as Grinchy as I likely sound. I like fun, bells, holidays (mine is Valentines day, if you need know). I even go hard for the tree, its smell, my cats covered up to their whiskers in fir quills . It's very outside meets inside, which is nearly smutty. What I have a problem with is the fantasy of it all, the fantasy of him. I'm finding problems with the Santa clause.
Now ain’t that some shit? I am all about fantasy. Case in point:
*I have a masters in fantasy (i.e. poetry)
*I think disparate health outcomes (the difference in disease rates in brown people versues everyone else) can be not just reduced but eliminated by 2020.
*I heart Disney World so much I CRY at the end of every Disney movie.
*I have a favorite Disney princess
*I named my child after a folklorist with a pearl handled gun and a inclination to fib about her age...(Ding-ding-ding)
I shan’t go on.
The issue isn’t Christmas. The risen Christ. The cherubs and spiked cocoa. The tinsel, Rudolph, misfit toys or the doorbusters. It’s Santa.
Perhaps it goes back to my up-from-the-bootstraps belief system. You want something, you get it yourself. Earn it. I mean can you earn something by being good, or by going to work? Is it truly your ethic if you’re doing so for the once-a-year reward? Pfft.
Perhaps it has more to do with God. I once mistakenly prayed to both Santa and Jesus for my Cookie Monster clock to run without batteries at age 4. It didn’t work and me and Jesus Claus were at odds until I figured out one of ‘em wasn’t real.
Perhaps it’s my racial and/or ethnic bias meter… I mean, honestly, the idea of a red suited heavy white man essentially breaking into my house to give my child toys of unknown origin “If she good” is a freakish, hellish, and disturbing thought. #Barfwothy even.
And then there is the highly principled part of me: I travel 54 miles rountrip daily to pay for her childcare. Brian works 7 days a week as well to ensure we’re housed, roofed, and can easily order gourmet Chinese. That said, the gifts didn’t come from ole homeboy SC, but from Mummah and Daddy with the grit of the commuter rail, and the sweat of the dining hall on our hands and in our hearts.
So, I did it. I told her Santa was fake. I said something like... Babygirl, you know he's for pretend right. Wide eyed, she said, Huh? Uhhh, yeah. We moved on. I did anyway.
And on Xmas eve when that first gift is in her beautiful brown baby hands, sweet surgar pie dumplin girl will know this:
I bought Barbie. ME.