As a child I knew there were no monsters in my closet and no monsters under my bed. I was much smarter than that, I knew the real monster came down the chimney and called himself Santa.
I had it out for St. Nick the first time I met him. There was something about this guy in his all red attire with his big shifty beard that I didn’t like. It only took one visit to his cottage before I had him all figured out.
It all seemed very suspicious to me. This guy in a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere Nebraska was supposed to be THE Santa? I was supposed to believe THE Santa was going to stop in a town that didn’t even have a Toys R Us? That he was going to make a pit stop in a town that only had ONE McDonalds? Yeah right, I wasn’t buying it.
It’s possible that at six years old I was over-thinking the Santa thing a bit. I mean all the other kids seemed to be big fans. Though impressed by the influence St. Nick seemed to possess over my peers, I had my reservations about the guy.
For one, the man liked strange children to sit on his lap. I’d caught enough primetime television and news specials by this point to realize strangers who wanted me to sit on their lap were bad news and were best to be avoided.
Also there was the tiny matter of this guy breaking into everyones’ houses. I didn’t agree with this. It seemed to me if the man wanted to stop by my house in the middle of the night he should at least knock or have the common courtesy to come through the front door. Talk about bad manners.
Truthfully though I was willing to look past Santa’s creeping and trespassing ways if only the big jerk didn’t take my cookies. This is where I drew the line. The fat kid in me was vehemently against this. Sure, the man would always leave some toys but this seemed a small price to pay for breaking and entering our house. Really, it was the least he could do. But he felt he needed to be rewarded for his criminal ways with cookies? I had to be good ALL year so some old guy could break into my house and steal my cookies? So not fair.
But each Christmas morning I’d wake up and find a pile of presents with my name on them and all my animosity for the big guy would be forgotten.
This went on for a few years until the year Mr. Clause crossed the line. I was eight. I fancied myself to be quite the smarty pants. I was looking into this Mr. Clause. I was putting things together.
Mom used the same exact wrapping paper as Santa. This could be no coincidence. I brought the issue up with my mom who tried to brush it off. She muttered something about a lot of people having that wrapping paper, it was a popular wrapping paper, a lot of stores had it. I wasn’t buying it. Clearly, my mom was covering for St. Nick. Why, I had no idea. But I was furious. First he breaks into my house, then he steals the cookies and now the wrapping paper? It was all too much.
I confronted my mother once and for all with my findings. What was the deal with this Santa Clause character, I asked.
Frankly, it was kind of a bummer to find out I wasn’t as great of a detective as I had thought. But on the upside at least some creepy guy from the North Pole wasn’t really breaking into my house every year.