Here comes Santa…eventually

Published 6:19 am Friday, December 24, 2010

I was probably 11 or 12 when Santa failed to show up on time. My brother is almost four years younger than me, so it impacted him a little bit more than it did me. I already knew the role my parents played in Christmas. He did not.

So that year when my parents overslept and forgot to help Santa, it was particularly tough to maintain the charade with my litte brother.

We woke up early as we always had. We walked into the living room. We looked under the tree and found absolutely nothing. The look on my brother’s face is one of the saddest memories of my childhood. It was part shock and part sadness.

Email newsletter signup

Shortly thereafter Mom and Dad woke up and sent us back to our rooms.

I had to explain to my brother that Santa did not skip us, he was just running late. But as hard as it was for me to explain Santa’s absence, my brother seemed to have no problem accepting the reasoning. I suppose that is a testament to both the hopeful nature of my brother’s

personality and the joy that Santa seems to bring children everywhere.

So even when gifts magically appear under the tree packaged in brown paper sacks addressed to Jason from Santa in magic marker only minutes after having been discovered missing, the hopeful child in unaffected

and is quick to forgive Santa’s tardiness.

That is probably why I have not decided to pull the plug on the Santa Claus thing early should I be blessed with children in the future.

As much as I dislike the idea of telling my children something like that, I do not want to rob them of the same joy I saw my brother experience while growing up. I also do not want them to be that kid in school that believes Santa is not real. That kid was a malcontent.

Not to mention the fact that kid was a jerk.

That cannot be my kid. He’ll have enough social problems just by being my kid.

So I figure I’ll play up the whole Santa Claus thing as countless parents before me have.

Only, I will probably take it to a whole new level. This is something I learned about myself recently when our publisher’s daughter, Lizzie, was a little rambunctious at the office.

Her Elf on the Shelf with a direct line to Santa is named Walter. I told Lizzie that if she wasn’t good I would tell Walter. When she disputed the fact that I knew Walter, I informed her that her beloved elf and I were in fact Facebook friends and that he stayed on the

internet all day while she was at school.

Whether or not she believed the story is entirely secondary. The point is that I believe technology will be my friend in keeping up Santa with my children.

I’m thinking I’ll probably purchase a pay-as-you-go cell phone for a month or so just to send my children text messages from the North Pole to remind them that he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.

Kris Kringle’s voyeuristic tendencies aside, I think he could be a strong behavioral motivator for my hypothetical children. He’ll utilize text messaging, an e-mail address and a Facebook profile to keep technological tabs on the future children of the Smith household.

All I’ve really got to do is make sure that the gifts show up under the tree wrapped all nice and neat and arrive on time Christmas Eve.

Because there is no way Santa can be as technologically savy as he will be in my house and package presents in brown paper bags labeled with magic marker.

Jeremy D. Smith is the community editor of The Demopolis Times.