Santa Claus or Father Christmas. Doesn’t Matter, I Hate Them Both
Yet another holiday season is upon us and once again — I am single and trying to convince myself that it’s okay — even though I can’t help imagining me and my make-believe family decorating the Christmas tree, as I observe real families bringing my vision to life.
I grew up loving Christmas, mostly because my mother made it impossible not to. I can still picture the decorations adorning the walls of our well-kept home and the giant tree positioned near the sliding doors leading to the verandah. Every single Christmas card my parents received had to be displayed on the shelves and if we ran out of room — the tree was the next option.
My favorite had to be the lights. All colors of the spectrum chiming in unison and then switching to an unpredictable mode. I used to sit on the carpet in the dark and watch the illuminating patterns on the wall and wonder what my life would be like — a gazillion years into the future.
Well, I don’t have to wonder anymore. But what does boggle my mind is how the fat white guy in the weird red and white outfit still charms children and parents today.
Father Christmas as he was known in Nigeria, where I grew up, never appealed to me. I went along with the “ho ho ho” and dutifully sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” but when it came to the legend himself — I wanted absolutely nothing to do with him.
Can you blame me? First off, how can we deny the fact that he is just downright creepy. No matter how history tries to “saint him up” by tracing his origin back to when he was “Saint Nicholas”, I still consider him in the same category as the menacing frightful clown in Stephen King’s cult classic “It.”.
Why would anyone gravitate to an old white guy with his face buried in a white beard, sporting spectacles and a distractingly bright-lit costume, filled with his portly form?
I mean I guess white people have a good reason — he is after all identifiable due to his race but black people bug me out when they happily allow their poor kiddies to be handled by this verified freak.
I have witnessed the photo sessions and let me tell you — it ain’t pretty. Most of the time these poor children are horrified just by looking at him. And then when they are forced to sit on his lap so their parents can feel fulfilled with the knowledge that they honored their parental requirements — all hell breaks lose.
All I want to do is rescue them from the unfolding nightmare and scold their parents for subjecting their tiny tots to cruel and unnecessary punishment.
There has to be a better way to experience the festivities of the season without including the fat white guy with a beard in a red suit.
We go along with traditions because we want to be a part of something universal and sacred but do we ever step back and examine what we’re indulging in?
Why do we need Santa Claus to make our Christmas spirit soar? Why do we permit him to hold our children who for the most are scared shitless just by the sight of him? I know I was — and that fear and distrust is still alive today.
If and when I become a mother — I definitely intend to keep Father Christmas, Santa Claus, St. Nicholas and whatever endearing reference applies — as far away from my offspring as possible.
I don’t intend to watch an overweight, creepy, elderly Caucasian dude balance my child on his lap — whispering incoherently in their ears while I snap away at my camera.
No, that stuff only happens in horror movies. And as we all know — they never end well.