Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Santa: the Mythological King of Patriarchy (Yeah, you heard me)

So last night, S (Little A's Dad) and I were sitting in a nursing home, waiting for her little Christmas dance show to start (which she was fabulously cute the way!). I turned to him and asked him what he had for Santa gifts...just so I could visualize how we were gonna put it together (hopefully without spending too much time with him on Christmas Eve). I guess first I should tell you that we still do certain things together, for Little A. We trick or treat, do birthday parties, concerts and CHRISTMAS MORNING still together. It's torture and I hope that someday in Little A's life she'll realize how much I love her to still ruin my Christmas, every year, first thing in the morning by having to spend it with S.
So, as I was saying, I asked him what Santa gifts he had. He looked at me sort of if he didn't exactly know what I was talking about. Little A was in a far back room changing and the only other people in the room clearly couldn't hear two inches past their face, so there was no danger in letting out classified information. He just looked dumbfounded and I tried to control my eyeballs that were begging to roll around in my head. Luckily, this year, I've already made up for his lame ass showing and she should be perfectly delighted if he shows up with a smelly piece of cheese.
But here's the real pisser. I NEVER wanted to do this Santa nonsense. No offense to anyone who does it and ENJOYS it, but my parents never did it, and I was perfectly fine with that. I saw no reason to partake in the fiasco of Santa Claus with Little A. I always loved Christmas WITHOUT him. Our Christmas was far more about traditions and family time than anything else and I knew I could make that happen with Little A.
But S and S's family....oh MY! How dare I even THINK such a thing??? They basically acted like I was trying to rob my child of her childhood by even conceiving of eliminating Santa from our own personal Christmas and made it clear that they would enforce Santa in some way, with or without me. I really didn't care (at least as much as those psychos did), so I said fine....WHATEVER....we'll do Santa. And BOY, have I regretted it EVER since.
EVERY year, I've taken Little A to see Santa, S...nada. EVERY year I've totally overspent trying to keep the magic alive while trying to give Little A gifts from me that tell her how I love her. S has pretty much shown up with some stupid addition and pretends to be the big god damn hero. EVERY year I've been in a hellish flurry of shopping trying to find that last little thing that would complete the magic. Last year, it was the damn bell from Polar Express. Don't get me wrong, I think its a lovely little movie, but I'm sure that every stinking kid who saw it made that last minute wish for the bell. I looked EVERYWHERE for the bell. Finally I had to buy a Valentines door hanger from JoAnn's....because they were the ONLY bells left in this country. I cut off the heart....tied the bells together and included a note saying the were Rudolph's bells...he especially wanted Little A to have them because he'd been watching her all year and thought she was glorious. It was Christmas torture at its finest.
So, as I was lying in bed last night, totally pissed off that I had missed almost a whole day of knitting because of hellish stomach ache and thinking about what a putz S is, I had a revelation. Santa is not JUST the idol of commercialism, a potential pedophile, or even a red nosed drunk. SANTA IS THE MYTHOLOGICAL KING OF PATRIARCHY. That's right. Mothers throughout the land drive themselves to exhaustion just to maintain the reputation of this big, fat, white guy who does SHIT! We shop, we bake cookies, we search countless stores for a god damned bell...and what does Santa do?? Gives a jolly laugh and takes all the credit??? Oh wait...AND HE GETS PAID FOR IT. Santas everywhere get paid to pass out candy canes while mothers everywhere still get squat for doing all the work. I'm so over Santa. And I am quite convinced that I might start to enjoy Christmas again once he's out of the picture.
But there you go....the REAL clincher. Not only does Santa enslave every mother in the shopping and baking shackles, he also makes it impossible to break those shackles. Listen, my kid SOBBED, more than once, over a tooth. A TOOTH! What the hell do you all think she's going to do when she makes the grand realization that Santa is all bullshit? Do we think that the other annoying white guy in on all the enslavement her dad is going to step up and console her and explain the facts of Santa life? HA! Fat chance. It will all be right back on me when I never even wanted to do the Santa shit in the first place. And to tell you the truth, I have no freeking spark of an idea what I will say. "Don't worry honey, I'm Santa. We just like to pretend he's a big fat guy obsessed with red fur because it's funny." "I'm sorry honey, the tooth fairy took Santa away....that bitch." It's all a wonder. The wonder of Christmas, right there.

Ok....I just had to get that out. Now we'll return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

"...all seem to say, Throw cares away, Christmas is here, Bringing good...."


Blogger SO said...

Wow Vick. I never thought of it like that!!!!! I always wanted K to believe in Santa because it felt magical to her and made one month feel magical to me just by how she felt. But what you just said is SO RIGHT....

Luckily, K didn't find out about Santa until she was 9 (last year). I just like to pretend that she never found out, and she pretends for me because it makes me happy.

Oh my!! The things we do to make our mother's happy! lol. Poor K.

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

I never thought of it that way either -- maintaining the patriarchy. But there certainly is that element to it.

It's a shame that S and family are so determined that Little-A should enjoy Santa, but aren't willing to do anything to help. Yuk!

9:40 AM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

I treated Santa like a character in a book, we talked about him the same way you'd talk about Pooh or Curious George. I never pretended he filled their stockings or left presents. But then my little girl started to believe in Santa on her own. She wanted to visit him at the mall, write him letters, etc. So now Santa leaves her and her brother one gift each year, just enough to feed her imagination without giving Mr. C all the credit or driving unrealistic expectations or disappointments.

I don't even encourage my kids to write lists or tell me what they want. They get what they get--the focus is on giving, not receiving.

I'm with you on the patriarchy in as far as women completely bear the burden of pulling holidays off for their families. It's a lot of stress.

10:51 AM  
Anonymous roo said...

Have N dress up as Santa for Christmas morning! Then let him take all of S's credit! Bwa-ha-ha-haaa!

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Dawn said...

Hey, The tooth fairy doesn't need to go down with "The Man" - She's one of the few Female fake characters we got!

It is true. Mom's hustle their asses off all over the world and the dad's try to put a bike together on Christmas Eve that doesn't get put together Until Mom steps in a 3 am and fixes it.

Not that I know anything about this.

1:24 PM  
Blogger JayneSays said...

You know the anagram for Santa is Satan? Ah-HA!

I think you're on to something and I will join in the revolution wherein we topple the old fat tyrant, my sista!

2:09 PM  
Blogger V said...

SO- That's too funny. Do you think she pretends because she thinks YOU beleive in Santa Claus and she doesn't want to break it to you?

Nancy- Yeah....S, especially, has always had these grand ideas and always *lets* me figure out how to pull them. It's lovely.

Hi V-grrl! Thanks for stopping in! How funny that she started believing on her own! I'd probably be able to handle it all a LOT more easily in your house. One biggy. It sounds like you have the perfect perspective on the whole thing!

Roo-wellllll....N says he was always afraid of Santa. I guess in Africa, they'll still dress Santa WHITE. So he either has white face or a big scary white mask on. Can you imagine? N in white face....oye!

Dawn - ha! I will not allow any male types to go for the "assembly required" toys. It's just a disaster!

Jayne - I'm there! Should I make the bumper stickers? I know...I'll knit them! :)

7:56 AM  
Anonymous roo said...

Wow. I did not know that. Talk about a white Christmas...

9:35 AM  
Anonymous jenfromboston said...

Firstoff, come Spring, am looking forward to your take on the Easter Bunny.

Second (and a little off topic)- sometime in my early 20s I started to get real pissed off about Christmas (I mean, other than the time off). I found myself in a mall getting angrier and angrier that it had become what it is. If it's about the Baby Jesus, you couldn't tell. And the present giving is stressful for me. Just for starters, my dad is well off & doesn't need anything/has every toy/gadget known to man, my mother broker than broke and I feel like I should just hand over a check (which I'll do). Flipside, I feel weird telling people what I want for Christmas.
If I had my way, it would just be about hanging with the family (if that's fun for you), eatin', getting pissed and having a craic (laugh). Oh, and if you're religous, the celebratin the Christ part.

And speaking of, now BIRTHDAYS on the otherhand, I am firm believer that those ARE about the presents (or at least mad amts. of attn). Conveniently enough, mine is 1 month after Christmas.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Tiger said...

one word...
(to cover all the entries I've read backwards to this one :) glad to read you this afternoon!

2:42 PM  
Blogger V said...

Thanks for coming by....I think I'm gonna make N call me brilliant for the next 5 months!

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. H. said...

LOL, good on you! In our house, I explain the 'real' Saint Nick -the Catholic fairy tale ;)

The children know that in the spirit of Saint Nicholaus, we (the parents) act as Santa.

No lies, no deceit, no bull that they'll be scarred for life over.

12:03 PM  

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