You have to understand that, in our house, Mrs. Nitmos and I will go to any depths to keep the Christmas spirit alive for the colt and filly. While my colt has no use for mall Santas at this point, my filly still looks at them with wide eyed wonder and reverence. And despite the fact that this year's mall Santa seemed to have a visible arm shake possibly due to early stage Parkinson's, my filly dutifully sat there and explained how she wanted a specific kind of Barbie doll - helpfully NOT the one we had already bought her - and never noticed the difficulty Santa had in reaching, clutching and transporting a candy cane from his basket to her hand. If she had noticed, she would have wondered how Santa could possibly hold sled reins in his hand or press his finger to his nose to shoot up a chimney. In fact, I'm pretty sure this Santa would have failed a field sobriety test if one was given on the spot in front of the throngs of excited children. I'm not saying he was drunk. I am saying that balance and basic hand-eye coordination skills were sorely lacking in this particular Claus.
In the days leading to Christmas, my filly literally has a hundred and one questions about Santa. She's trying to seal up all the holes in her understanding of this particular tradition. Meanwhile, Mrs. Nitmos and I are doing our best to keep the details as vague as possible.
"How does Santa get into our house when we don't have a chimney?"
"Oh, he has his ways." (Yeah, right, like we can afford a house with a fireplace. Just be happy we have enough rolled up paper to feed our oil barrel drum. Now put your finger tipless gloves back on!)
"Where are Santa's reindeer when he's at the mall?"
"Oh, probably on the roof."
"Can we see them?"
"No, we can't go on the roof."
"Don't you want to see his reindeer?"
"Why not? Do you hate his reindeer?"
"So, who wants twenty dollars!"
And on and on the questions go at all hours of the day and sprung on us without warning. Usually we can brush the questions off with one vague answer after another. Or simple bribes.
We made the HUGE mistake of putting small trees in each of the kids' rooms. And Christmas morning, they find one small gift under that tree that they are allowed to open prior to the big score downstairs with the entire family. Now, my filly is obsessed with stories about how she saw Santa in her room...and he was staring at her. And staring. She tells the story so convincingly too. It creeps me right out. Somehow, we've turned Santa into a night stalker.
By Christmas eve, we are exhausted with explanations of Santa's every mysterious action. My filly launched into another barrage of endless how does questions.
"How does Santa pee when he's out so long delivering toys?"
My wife and I looked at each other with weary eyes from the front seat of the car and said simultaneously:
"Santa has a catheter."
Happy reindeer tracks.
Snow melt and 60 degrees! And windy. Very windy. 40 mph. And painful. My legs aren't used to running on even surfaces.
Hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year! I am STILL on vacation and therefore not reading any blogs. I'll catch up with you all later.