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Posts Tagged ‘Santa’

As elaborate lies we tell our children go, there are none larger than the whole Santa thing. 

I mean, let’s just imagine for a moment if Santa was actually real. For one thing, let’s think about what kind of administrative support he would be needing. The database required to keep track of current postal addresses would be a complete nightmare to update, let alone provide technical support for.

Then there’s all those letters that roll in from children all over the globe. Someone would need to sort, open and translate them, enter the requested items into the database and then file the letter away in a filing cabinet the size of Western Australia. Because, if you think about it (which I obviously have), those letters would probably need to be kept for seven years, in case of some kind of audit, right?

Then there’s would be the job of coordinating Santa’s diary – you know, fitting in all those public appearances in shopping centres, community parties and street corners in the weeks leading up to Christmas. And let’s not even start on the travel arrangements for Christmas Eve and the stress of off-setting his carbon footprint. And I’m pretty certain there’d have to be a large team of logistic (and house-breaking) experts dedicated solely to planning his entry and exit points for each home he has to visit. 

And then there’s the whole “who’s been good and who’s been bad” thing. Would Santa have surveillance teams working around the clock, spying on every single child on the planet all year around? Wouldn’t that just creep you out a little if it were true? And, most certainly, the definitions of “good” and “bad” behaviour would make for very tricky work for Santa’s legal team. 

Luckily, most children haven’t worked in an administrative capacity, like I obviously have. They’re like top-level management who think that the stationary cupboard magically restocks itself and that the Food Fairy makes and delivers those plates of little triangular sandwiches and jugs of iced water. 

Of course, my own children – like many others – occasionally ask a few logistical questions: “Our gas heater blocks the fireplace. How will Santa get in?” or “Who will tell Santa we’re going to be in Perth this year?” or “Why don’t you think I’ll get a Nintendo DS from Santa? [So-and-so] got one from him last year.”

[For the record, my answer to that last question was: “Mummy and Daddy have a special arrangement with Santa where we get to give you the really cool stuff and Santa gets to give you a box of sultanas and a plastic rainbow slinky.”]

And I’m sure questions that might be asked in future years will include: “Does Santa drink beer at every single house he visits and does he get absolutely rat-arsed?” and “Where the hell does Santa get off saying whether I’ve been good or bad this year?”

So why do we spin these tales of flying reindeer and magical elvin sweatshops? 

Because everyone loves a good story. 

Because small faces that burst into smiles when they see that Santa’s visited in the night are precious. 

Because many of us remember what it was like to be a child and to see a world untethered by policies or procedures and instead full of magic and possibility.

Just because.

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I. 

Imagine my complete and utter delight when I read the following on a sign at the petrol pump:

To avoid police investigation, please pay for petrol before you leave. 

Before I knew it, I’d been whisked away to an undisclosed holiday location in my mind where I found myself thinking about how shady underworld figures must feel immensely cheered by this sign.

“Why, it must be some kind of Petrol Pump Amnesty!” I imagined they’d say to themselves. “Simply by paying for my petrol, the police will instantly drop all ongoing investigations into my immensely illegal activities. And it doesn’t matter what crimes I commit in the future as long as I keep paying for my petrol. Sorted!”

I can only imagine how disappointed they’d feel when they then got busted the very next day.

II. 

Having pulled the Love Bus into a difficult spot with surprising ease, I was feeling pretty damn chuffed with myself and wished I had someone to share my moment of Parking Glory with. 

And then a woman touched me on the arm at the entrance of the supermarket and said: “Is that your van?”

“Yes,” I said, bursting with pride and almost adding “You’re admiring the kick-arse parking job I did, aren’t you?”

Luckily I didn’t, because she said “Uh, you’ve left your lights on.”

Shit. 

III.  

You  may not know it but every day in our household a bitter battle between the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Star Wars Teddies is being waged by my oldest two children. Those Star Wars teddies are mean-ass mo’fos from what I can gather and the TMNTs are often more interested in going shopping than they are in carrying out complex military strategies. So it wasn’t that surprising when the Pixie, who was leading the TMNT charge, suddenly exclaimed “Ooooh Here comes Santa! He’s saying ‘Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!'”

Still, I thought to myself, “Wow. You know, I haven’t done too bad a job with parenting that little girl. She’s introduced a benign, neutral character to diffuse a dangerous situation with Christmas Cheer. Awww…. ”

And then she went and said “Yay!!! Santa’s going to give us guns!!!”. 

Remind me to get her to pay for the petrol next time we fill up, just as a pre-emptive thing, just in case the Petrol Pump Amnesty turns out to be real.

IV. 

“This isn’t a real post?” I can hear people muttering to themselves. “It’s just some random moments hastily cobbled together to vaguely resemble a post.”

No, it’s not a real post, I say to those people. Deal with it. 

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I realised the other day why Advent Calenders were invented: they’re to act as reminders for parents like me of how rapidly Christmas is approaching. Every time we open another one of those little windows, it’s like a little punch in the stomach. It was actually about this time last year, that I had myself a full-blown panic attack where I found myself breaking into KT’s empty house, wandering about hysterically, looking for Uncle B’s scotch whilst breathing into a paper bag. My husband even had to send the Mild Mannered Lawyer around to rescue me because he knew if he woke Tiddles up from his nap just to come around to get me, that might just send me Completely Over The Edge. Ah, good times

I’m hoping to manage my Christmas Stress Levels a little differently this year. I’m not at all helped by the fact that this is the first year Mr Justice has been able to write his own Santa List completely on his own. I think at this stage the list is longer than L. Ron Hubbard’s ten volume “Mission Earth” and possibly makes about as little sense. Mr Justice is a great fan of organic spelling: he writes ’em as he hears ’em, with a few extra letters thrown in here and there, and – for some reason – lots and lots of hyphens. Anyway, I had to go through the list with him line by line to work out if any of the items a) existed and b) were affordable. I tried to explain that Santa really only gave out little presents to boys and girls and that a “Nin-ten-do Weee” was a bit beyond his budget, but Mr Justice remained quietly confident that Santa could pull it off. It was all I could do to stop myself from saying that if he were to get a Big Ticket item like that, I wasn’t bloody well giving Santa all the credit.

In any case, if Mr Justice knew how far behind Mummy – I mean Santa – was with the Christmas shopping, he might not be feeling so confident about getting anything at all, let alone anything from that long long list. “Oh come on, NDM, what’s your problem?” I can hear some people asking in that all-too-familiar tone of theirs. “You’re a Stay-At-Home Mum and can therefore get to the shops outside of the Prime Bitch Fightin’ Time at night and weekends”. Ah, yes, I reply to these naysayers. I can. But you seem to be overlooking the fact that, with The Pixie and Mr McGee in my full-time care, I bring my own bitch fight wherever and whenever I go. There’s something about all those Christmas Decorations that whips those kidlets into a feral fightin’ frenzy… And so, I’ve taken to trying to get as much as I can on-line, with some mixed results…

Just the other day, I was in the crucial closing stages of bidding for a “V19 Torrent Fighter” on ebay whilst simultaneously chucking stuff in Mr Justice’s lunch box, when I had what I can only call a “Sanitary Product Malfunction”. I ran swiftly to the toilet and was in the process of sorting it out when Tiddles McGee burst in and, perhaps inspired by what he saw or just of his own volition, projectile vomited on the floor by my feet. And it was at this very moment I discovered that the toilet roll was stripped barer than an anonymous bride. Of course, finding new toilet paper required me to first find a pair of fresh underpants and, during that perilous journey (which required me to jump around the house with my legs sealed shut), I managed to leave a horror film-style handprint on our brand new (white) duvet cover hanging in the laundry. And of course, by the time I’d sorted myself, McGee, the vomit and the duvet cover out, I’d missed out entirely on the “V19 Torrent Fighter” on ebay and we were entering Late Pass Territory in my push to get Mr J to school. And all I could think was how am I going to explain all of the above in ten words or less on the Late Pass slip. Maybe “Christmas + ebay + menstrual accident + vomit + no toilet paper = Late”. Or even just “Don’t. Push. Me. ‘Cause. I’m. Close. To. The. Edge.” Honestly, if they’re going to be issuing late passes in the lead up to Christmas, they should at least be handing them out with paper bags and Scotch as well.

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