by Mary Jeanne
“Mom. Know who is on my jammies? He name is Snowman, and he brings us a tree on Christmas time.”
I should have just let her keep thinking that. My cute little Bananie was too young last year to really get the idea of Santa. But this year, in her too-small Santa jammies, she understood that someone (whose name she still didn’t really have down) would bring something to our house on Christmas.
“Yes. His name is Santa. And he watches you all year to make sure you’re a good girl. He sees you all the time. And on Christmas Eve he flies around the world giving out toys. When he gets to our house, he’ll land on the roof and come down the chimney, and leave presents under the tree. Cool, right?”
“Yay Santa!” she squealed.
But, in the few weeks that followed, her excitement turned from happy to almost fearful. Every time she acted like a brat, all I had to do was pull a “Santa’s watching you!” out of my pocket, and, like magic, she’d calm right down. One time, when I was in the kitchen and she was in the livingroom with her baby sister, she yelled to me, “Mom! Can Santa see me?”
“YES! Yes he can!” I yelled back. I heard a somewhat disappointed reply of “Oh. Ok,”. I don’t know what her plan was, but I do know that her new eagerness to please/paranoia seems to be working in favor of the whole family.
About a week ago we were out at a mall, and Santa was there, too. He smiled and waved, and I waved back. Bananie, on the other hand, was expressionless and kept her eyes fixed on him, as if to say “I’m watching you, too, bub”. When I suggested she wave or at least smile at him, she whispered to me, “Mom, I’m afraid of Santa.” What girl isn’t afraid of a guy that spies on her and then sneaks into her house? Those guys are called ‘stalkers’.
I have a few weeks to fix it, but as it stands, that’s how I wrecked Christmas.
**I thought I’d throw this out there for anyone still listening:
Last night, after writing the above, we took the little girls downtown to see the Hollidazzle Parade. Bananie was pretty into it; she sang songs from Peter Pan when the Captain hook float came by, waved at the Police Marching Band, etc. The last float in the parade is Santa and his fake, light up reindeer.
Me: “Bananie, look at Rudolph! Santa’s on the back. Do you see him yet?”
Bananie: “No… Hi Rudolph…” (Half-hearted wave to Rudolph)
Then, as the back of the float came slowly into view, there he was: a living, breathing Ye Olde Timey Father Christmas waving to the crowd and ho ho ho-ing. Bananie’s huge eyes grew to the size of serving platters and her jaw hit the sidewalk, her breathing became that of a kid about to hyperventilate and/or barf.
Bananie: ” It’s Santa! Santa! SANTAAAAA! BRING ME A PILLOW PET!”