Category Archives: Santa

Jesus Versus Darth Plagueis

It’s 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon and we are driving home after a morning filled with indoor soccer practice and an afternoon spent in a crowded mall buying Christmas presents for various friends and relatives.  The conversation in the car is about to take a sudden left and then a sharp right into the religion of the Star Wars obsessed, but right now I am still thinking about the mall…

Santa Claus was at the mall, but he’s taken a break, probably for lunch, and so we wait in line for his return.  Snags has scoped out Santa’s sled and determined that this is the REAL Santa, because “Look!  He’s got three XBOX 360s in his sleigh!  And why would he have those if he wasn’t the REAL Santa?”  Snags is torn between waiting not so patiently in line for Santa to return from where ever he’s ventured off to, and leaving the line to hunt him down somewhere in the mall, perhaps in the food court.

“I don’t think Santa wants to be bothered when he’s trying to eat his lunch,” I tell Snags.
 
He ponders this for a moment before he spots Santa’s coat and hat hanging from a hook near his sleigh.  He decides that I am probably right, that it might be hard to find Santa since he’s left his uniform behind.  “He might look like a regular guy out there.  Except,” Snags proclaims, “Santa has a long beard, right?  He couldn’t take that off!”  

I convince Snags that we should just wait where we are, Santa’s due back in 25 minutes anyway, and the line forming behind us has at least 30 people in it.

So we wait, and I listen and silently sigh while Snags goes on to ponder where Santa parked his reindeer.  He wants to look for them, but I know the parking lot is full of nothing but cars.

Eventually Santa returns, carrying a metal lunch box and a large thermos, proof that he was indeed on his lunch break.  But now he’s full and ready to have hordes of children sit on his lap, tell him what they want for Christmas, and get their picture taken with him.

When it’s his turn, Snags lies and tells Santa that yes, he’s been a good boy all year.  I know he’s lying because even though I cannot hear him speaking, I see his nervous glance in my direction as he answers.  His worry is palpable, I can tell he’s afraid I might jump forward and refute his claim to goodness.  I don’t.  I let him convince Santa that he is worthy of the three things he’s asking for this year: a Star Wars LEGO Star Destroyer, a Quadrilla Twist and Rail (made in China, full of lead?), and some kind of door alarm for his bedroom door.  I don’t understand this last request. I am not surprised by it, but this is the child who is afraid of fire alarms sounding and home security systems beeping.  An alarm on his bedroom door suggests he’s entered into therapy, the kind where the doctor purposely exposes you to your fears so that eventually they don’t scare you anymore.  And I know that is not the case.

I fork over $19.99 for two 5×7 shots of Snags forcing a nervous smile on Santa’s lap – nervous I’m sure because he still doesn’t know if he’s got Santa fooled or not, and he doesn’t know if a lying alarm might sound when he climbs down from Santa’s lap. 

Lately, before bed, Snags has been looking at an old book I have on Rome.  I bought it back in ancient times, when I was a Junior in High School, and went to Rome on a trip.  The book is full of glossy color photos of fountains and Roman architecture and statues.  Michelangelo’s Pietà has caught his eye, so I’ve been trying to explain it to him.  It’s Christmas time, and we should be celebrating Jesus’ birth, but Snags is currently worrying over Jesus’ death.  He won’t leave it until Easter and it must be playing somewhere in the back of his mind because now in the car, on our way home from the mall and Santa, we pass a church with a cemetery beside it.  Snags asks from the back seat, “Mom, why do all the gravestones have crosses on them?  It’s not like there are a whole bunch of Jesuses buried all over the place!”

My husband is driving and so we explain, as best we can, what the crosses mean.  Snags seems to understand and we continue on our way until the sudden left and sharp right come at us, like questions from a child’s mind so often do, out of nowhere…

“Mom,” Snags asks, “Do you know the difference between Jesus and Darth Plagueis?” 

My head starts to spin with the craziness of the question.  I feel like Dorothy in the tornado in The Wizard of Oz.  “Um…” I stall.  “Uh… let me think,” I say.

And here my husband starts to shake with silent laughter.  I can see him trying not to pump a fist into the air in triumph, trying not to say “Ha! He asked YOU!  You take that one…”

“Uh…”  I say.  “Jesus was a good guy, and anybody with Darth in their name is a bad guy?”  I venture.

“How about Jesus was a real person and Darth Plagueis is just a made up character in a movie?” my husband offers, trying to help me out, although I can see he’s still shaking with laughter.

“Yes, that, but also,” Snags says.  “Also, Jesus could save himself and Darth Plagueis couldn’t!” 

And I sigh and say that “Yeah, I see what you mean.” Although I don’t.  I have no idea who Darth Plagueis is, expect to know that he’s from Star Wars, and a bad guy to boot.  I say a silent prayer promising to take Snags to church on Sunday if lightening doesn’t strike us all down right then and there. 

It turns out that Darth Plagueis was a Sith Lord who found a way to prevent death and create life. The legend of Darth Plagueis is recounted in a brief scene in the movie Revenge of the Sith where Chancellor Palpatine tells the story to Anakin Skywalker.  “Ironic,” Palpatine says.  “He could save others from death, but not himself.”

And somehow, some way, Snags has remembered this scene, these supposed facts, and put them together into a Jesus versus Darth Plagueis scene in his mind.

Dinner and bedtime pass without incident as I think about what mass we should go to in the morning.  It will depend on what time I get back from my morning run.  My clothes are set out and ready to go.

But at 3:00 a.m Sunday morning I am awaken from sleep by Snags calling, “Mom! I need you!” I go into his room to find he’s gotten sick in the middle of the night and vomited all over the place.  It looks like I won’t be running in the morning after all.  And church won’t be seeing the likes of us this weekend either.  I guess Jesus and Darth Plagueis will have to work things out without us.  I hope the good guy wins.  His birthday is coming up, after all.

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Filed under Christmas, Darth Plagueis, humor, Jesus, LEGOs, life, Santa, Snags, Star Wars

A Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

If the attached letter seems familiar to you it’s because I sent it to you last year.  I wrote it myself right after breakfast on December 25, 2006. Today I got to thinking, and it hit me how December is the time of year that you get inundated with letters.  And also, I started wondering about your filing system.  I mean, Christmas is the type of holiday where once you cross things of a person’s list, I imagine you can throw the lists away.  That of course got me a bit concerned.  Perhaps in all the seasonal activity my letter from last year was ditched to make room for all of the new letters that are probably just now arriving in your mail box.  Therefore, I thought it best that I send this to you again, as a simple reminder for when you deliver the gifts this year.  I would really appreciate it if you would read the attached letter and commit it to memory.

Sincerely,
Belle

(Attachment)

Dear Santa,
What were you thinking, leaving three gifts under the small Christmas tree in Snags’ bedroom like that?  I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, but really, it was stupid, stupid, stupid. 

Snags woke up at 5:30 this morning.  On any OTHER morning, he might have looked around and gone back to sleep.  But not this morning.  Oh no.  He woke up, looked around, saw the three presents under the tree, and screamed “Santa came! Mom, Dad, Santa came!  He left me presents under my tree!” and then he came careening into our room.  He threw open our bedroom door in the same manner that guy in the kerchief from “Twas the Night Before Christmas” threw open the sash.  He used such force it’s a wonder the door’s still on its hinges.

So of course, since there were gifts under his tree, he had to open them RIGHT THEN.  And of course, since he woke the whole house, dog included, the dog had to go outside to do her business, RIGHT THEN. 

My quick thinking husband, upon returning from letting the dog outside, came upstairs to say “I don’t see any presents under the big tree, so Santa must not be finished yet.  We better go back to sleep so he can bring those presents.”

Of course, Snags was too excited to go back to his bed, so he stayed with me, and my husband went into Snags’ room to sleep.  I then had to go retrieve Snags’ tag blanket, his Mickey Mouse doll, and his “good” Scooby Doo pillow.  But since I can’t tell the two Scooby Doos apart, I had to bring both of them to him. 

I thought that would be it, that me and Snags, along with Mickey Mouse, his tag blanket, the two Scoobys and our dog, Pee Pee, would all settle down and go back to sleep.  But I was wrong.

Snags had to go to the bathroom and although he didn’t want to get up and risk delaying Santa even further, he couldn’t stop wiggling from the urge to pee.

I finally convinced him to just get up and go to the bathroom already, but, I insisted, he had to come right back to bed and go to sleep. 

And he tried, he really did.  But he kept hearing noises.  The sound of your boots.  The jingle of bells.  And the sound of your boots again.

Eventually, as he listened to your clomping and jingling, he wiggled and squirmed his way back into an hour’s worth of additional sleep.  Which I suppose I should be thankful for, it’s better than nothing, after all.

But at 7 am he was up and down the stairs faster than you could say “Merry Chr…”

So anyway, thanks for all the gifts and all.  But next year, can you just leave them all on the main floor under the big tree?  He’ll find them, really, he will.

Sincerely,
Belle (a very tired Belle)

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“Good Morning… No!”

I spent the morning telling Snags “No!”

No, you can’t wear your red Spiderman robe to school over your clothes so you can “look like Santa Claus”.  No, because a robe goes with pajamas so it’s considered pajamas and you can only wear pajamas to school on approved pajama days.  That’s in the school rules – it’s part of the dress code.  And today is not a pajama day.

 No, you can’t take the red pillow case to school with you even though you think it looks like Santa’s bag of toys.  Because…  It’s uh,… considered bedding!  Like pajamas. You wear them to bed. And the pillowcase belongs on your pillow which belongs ON YOUR BED. See? Sorry.

No, you can’t wear your new snow boots to school today.  It’s part of the school rules, too.  You can’t wear snow boots if it isn’t snowing out. Sorry.  I know you think they look like Santa’s boots. You still can’t wear them. Put your tennis shoes on.

In the end, he settled on wearing a red short sleeve polo shirt.  On top of that he wore an “orange red” fleece sweatshirt.  He had on brown cords but changed into gray sweatpants because they “looked more like Santa.”  He took a Santa Hat with him. You know the kind. Red, kind of fuzzy material, has white trim.

He thought he was going to fool his kindergarten teacher with this outfit.  Fool her into what, I don’t know.  Into thinking HE was Santa Claus?  Because if he walks into class saying “Yo, ho, ho!” like he’s been doing around the house for the past 48 hours… saying “Yo, ho, ho!” instead of “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Then instead of “Santa Claus?!” his teacher will probably be thinking “Christmas Pirate?”

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Filed under Christmas, humor, life, Santa, Snags

Christmas is Coming, the Goose is Getting Fat

And by Goose I mean me.  Boy do I hate the weeks between Halloween and Christmas.  I’ve read all the advice, how not to gain that average 5 pounds or so, but you’re reading the writing of a woman who gained the Freshman 15 back in college and kept it ON so really, advising me to be mindful of my holiday eating or to eat BEFORE I go to a holiday party… well, that only ends up with me eating two meals.  The one before the party and the one AT the party.  So that isn’t going to work at all.  Last year’s 5 pounds on my left hip are proof of that.

But Christmas is coming and Snags is EXCITED! EXCITED! EXCITED!  More so this year than any year past.

He’s already made his Christmas list for Santa and revised it twice.

It started off as a simple one page letter asking for three things.  It has since morphed into a small catalog of photos cut from toy magazines and glued onto a stack of paper from the printer in the basement, stapled together, then attached to a cover sheet, lest Santa get confused as to whom the list came from.

Recently he decided to prioritize the list.  Only he wrote “Top Choice” by each and every item on his list.

I finally had to sit down with him and explain that EVERYTHING can’t be his “Top Choice.”  And as we flipped through the pages of his ever expanding list, I had to point out that Santa was not likely to bring him a rock tumbler because it was for children ages 10 and up. Ditto the chemistry set. “Darn it!” Snags yelled.  And then he drew a big X over the items.

“Also,” I said, trying not to dampen his Christmas spirit but also wanting to keep my house fee of bugs, “No ant farm.  Even when you turn eight and are old enough for an ant farm, see here where it says 8 and older?  Even then, I am not having ants in my house.  Not even if they live on a farm.”

“Why not?” Snags demanded to know. 

“Because,” I said, “that’s why I pay the exterminator in the first place.  Too keep ants out of here.  Sorry kiddo.”

“Darn it!” He yelled again as he crossed the ant farm off his list.

My husband and I have been having a bit of a discussion lately too.  He wants to limit what Snags gets for Christmas, set a budget.  And I do too.  We just can’t agree on what that budget should be.  Because when your kid is six and wants a couple of $90 LEGO sets, well, there won’t be much under the tree if you say $200 is the limit, you know?  And then also, my husband is of the opinion that the best presents should come from mom and dad and Santa should only bring maybe one or two gifts.  I’m all against that.  Because when I was a kid, SANTA BROUGHT EVERYTHING.  Or nearly everything.  My husband grew up differently than I and seems to think this puts the appreciation of Christmas on Santa, and not mom and dad.  Jesus, some of you may notice, is left out of this part of the discussion.  Yes, the holiday is about him, and he is lying in the manger we set up, but then, as Snags notes, Jesus was a baby at Christmas, and babies don’t bring you presents.  But Santa, he does! 

“Look at it this way,” I tried to explain to my husband.  “We’ve probably only got another year or two of Santa left around here.  Some older kid at school will spill the beans soon enough.  I’d rather Snags be all excited about Santa while he can.  He has the rest of his life to appreciate the fact that Santa was US.  He can appreciate you and me and what we gave him from Santa when he’s grown.  Right now, let’s let the mystery and excitement go on as long as possible.  That’s what being a kid is all about, isn’t it?”

Well, that and being able to eat all the holiday junk you want without gaining an ounce.
 

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