The other day, a mom brought up that her son’s classmate spilled the beans about Santa. Her son genuinely wanted to know the truth and she was torn between prolonging the Santa Conspiracy to respecting him enough to face reality. She asked me what I would do and I told her the truth.
“Well, my own mother was the one to tell me Santa didn’t exist.”
She looked relieved – as if it is the mother’s duty to reveal these sordid truths. But what I didn’t tell her was that I was six years old and I didn’t even ask if Santa was real, my mom just said, “You know there’s no such thing as Santa Claus, right?”
It would be a dramatic lie if I said that I was traumatized and scarred for life, but I understood – we were broke. So when the Catholic majority of kids in our neighborhood were bragging about their gifts from Santa, it was just easier to tell it like it is: the reason Santa didn’t leave anything for us is not because he’s an alcoholic but because he doesn’t exist.
This year, for the first time since the boys have been born – we are spending Christmas at home. Until now, Christmas was Grammy’s gig and believe me, she’s a tough act to follow. When the boys were told we’d be staying home, the first thing they said was, “Does Santa come to New York?”
I imagine if I were allowed to believe in the Fat Man past six years old, I would’ve pondered the same question. After all, both my parents were mugged violently a number of times and I already had my pockets picked in school. What white man in his right mind would gallivant these crime ridden streets with a sleigh full of presents and only reindeer to guard them? Unless of course, he had Raging Rudolf.
But these days, people don’t get mugged in New York. They get shot. Or beaten up for being gay, at least in Sunnyside, anyway. But Samu was confident a little violence wasn’t going to daunt Santa. No, what might stop Santa was – population.
On our way home, he stopped in front of the apartment building next door to us. “How’s he going to get a gift to every apartment?” He said.
“He has help.” I replied.
Then his face lit up as he had his eureka moment. “Oh! He gets help from the P.T.A.?!”
Who knows what he’s thinking now. I dragged my feet towards home and thought in the back of my mind,I didn’t sign up for this.
Not exactly Connecticut but like our Christmas decorations?