Kids are going to grow up thinking Santa shares a bloodline with vampires and werewolves and other creepy critters that only come out at night. Maybe a religious nut could found an entire sect on this whole thing, with Santa resurrecting each night during the Christmas season, after having been the Baby Jesus In A Manger during the day but cleverly disguised as a puddle of Italian colors in order to save Him from the Pharisees.
Cruise through your neighborhood in the daytime and see all the colorful but seemingly dead holiday folk spread out on the ground, as if a South American military coup had happened on your own street, innocent Sugar Plums and Reindeer gunned down like anarchists. Or as if a horrible plague came through like a tornado, withering the flesh of Elves and Snowmen but leaving the color untouched.
But hope -- and Santa -- spring.
I'm always puzzled by those heart-wrenching stories about sweet, probably blond, certainly blue-eyed children -- usually girls -- finding out that there is no Santa. I'm puzzled -- and a bit miffed, too, really -- because I don't have such a story. Well, nor am I blond. Or blue-eyed. Or sweet, come to think of it. Perhaps that explains it.
In any case, I was so untraumatized by learning that there is no Santa that I don't even remember the realization. I think that's because I had (and still have) an older (by two years) brother and (by one year) sister. I assume I learned there is no Santa by osmosis, as if I were celery and the not-Santa were blue ink. Well, red and green ink, what the heck.
I would think it's even harder in a city -- instead of my girlhood boonies -- to convince a child that there is a Santa, since each store has one. How do parents explain that to kids? There was an excellent Santa at Sacred Lands this Saturday, by the way. In fact, I'm pretty sure he was the real one.
I don't even know why I'm going on about this. I really don't care. I should think that kids in any generation are pretty good at distinguishing between Make-Believe and Real. If you were traumatized by finding out that Santa is only as real as The Easter Bunny, let us know. Tell us the story. We'll feel sorry for you. Really. Even if you're a brunette.