“Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus!… There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.”

Well, I did get some names crossed off my list from shopping yesterday. I mostly went to shops in Dennis. They were filled with people. In one small shop the whole crowd walked in a single line counterclockwise as the aisles were so narrow. It was like being on a chain-gang. I figured we all should be singing the Sam Cooke song. Stopping to look made it even worse as it caused a traffic bottleneck. But despite the line, this hearty shopper managed to spend a lot of money there because their stuff was unique. I even found some wonderful stocking stuffers. I would have spent more time roaming except it was too crowded, and I could hear Gracie barking out the car window.

When I got home, I carried in my bags, checked my e-mail then I napped, a long nap. Shopping is fun but exhausting. Today I will do my laundry and call it an industrious day. I will watch the Patriots and hope all their injuries won’t have as giant an impact as we all fear.

The weather has been amazing. Yesterday was 58˚ degrees despite the rain. Today is 42˚, still too warm for the end of November. The sun is shining. It’s a pretty day.

On the first day of December we got to open door one on the Advent calendar. We all took turns otherwise we’d end up fighting about it: his turn, my turn, she did it yesterday sort of squabbling. That drove my mother crazy. Taking turns usually worked though we did argue on who would be first to open a door. I always said I should be as I was the oldest. My sister said she was the youngest so she should open it. Most times it ended up being me. For everything else we did wrong, my mother would pull out the Santa card. She’d remind us there were two lists and nobody wanted to be on the naughty one. Sometimes if we still didn’t stop misbehaving, she’d tell us we each had just lost one present. Santa sees everything. That subdued us for a while.

I once gave my sister a Santa report card to use with my nephew. He’d get gold stars or black stars in the columns underneath things like brushed his teeth, obeyed his parents or cleaned up his toys. My sister when forced to give him a black star would remind him Santa would see his report card because it was going to be left under the tree on Christmas Eve. Usually he’d start to cry and beg her not to it. He’d swear he was going to be good, and most times he was. That report card to Santa was the best motive ever to be nice.

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10 Comments on ““Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus!… There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    The Prince has opened the first door of the advent box, after all it is the first Sunday of Advent (and you know what that means in two weeks) . The house is decorated and it feels like Christmas is upon us.
    The Prince had a very ugly incident with Santa when he was about 18 months and made it very clear he did not want to sit on his knee. I treasure the picture of him sideways making his annoyance very clear to anyone within a hundred yards.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      I do know what that means! I would never forget.

      My house is devoid of anything festive as I have decided that I needn’t do much as I won’t be here for Christmas. The outside will scream Christmas and light up the street. It will be a whisper in my house.

      The Prince must be very excited. That first door means the season has started.

      My niece’s three year old avoids Mr. Claus. This year his cousin is standing and smiling while Declan is a blur as he runs pass Santa.

  2. Birgit Says:

    Ugly weather here and a nice advent concert at the catholic church. I’m not in Christmas mood yet but my friend sang so I had to go. An advent calendar is absolutely necessary even for old kids like me, I need my daily dose of chocolate in December.
    First Sunday of advent,
    here’s one of our oldest Advent songs, not really a children’s song due to the unusual musical scale and rhythm but still popular today:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pqm6-lY15-g

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I once gave my sister a chocolate advent calendar for her kids. It had been sold buy the German club at school. My nephew had figured out how to remove the chocolate without defacing the front. My sister was surprised by the empty windows.

      I don’t know what they were singing, but I would guess it was a Christmas song by the sound of it-the song is lovely.

  3. Richard Says:

    Whaaaa … ? Nononononooooo. Homey could not deal with that kinda stuff. That’s why I give ’em cash. One-size-fits-all. Refunds for smaller sizes made at no extra fee. I know, some say money is such an ‘impersonal’ gift … thing is, I’ve never had anyone complain about getting it. So much for that train of thought, eh?

    Tomorrow marks the last day of November – which is followed hard upon by the first day of December. Where’d our year go? Wasn’t it just yesterday that it was 01 January 2015? Let’s dust off that scratchy version of ‘Yesterday, When I Was Young,’ shall we … ? Or ‘Time In A Bottle’ … days seem to be decreasing at an increasing rate, yes?

    Our weather might best be described as ‘dog-with-a-bladder-condition’ … constantly moist yet never drenching. I suspect our temp today might venture toward the 50s, but since I’ll be inside, it’s not a matter of great import.

    I’m happy to know someone understands things like ‘Advent’ … those were all topics that made little sense to me then – or now, for that matter, even tho’ I was raised a good li’l Catlick boy.

    The ‘Santa report card’ is a neat idea … it also ties in nicely with one of the most underappreciated songs celebrating a state of constant surveillance ever written and adopted by an unsuspecting populace as a major holiday song. ‘What is this song of which he writes?’, you ask. It’s the one known by every boy and girl as ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.’

    I can hear you saying ‘Oh, that’s rubbish!’ and things like ‘Pish tosh!’ … but consider the words: “You’d better watch out / You better not cry / Better not pout / I’m telling you why / Santa Claus is coming to town” … and then we learn “He’s making a list / And checking it twice / Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice” … and then we get to the meat of the matter: “He sees you when you’re sleeping / He knows when you’re awake / He knows if you’ve been bad or good / So be good for goodness’ sake” … why, that’s positively Orwellian … remember Winston Smith being told to stand in front of his ‘viewscreen’ … ? Ablosutely chilling, nicht wahr?

    I’ve always thought of that tune as the earliest variant of parental behavioral control thru the applied use of music. It worked, tho’ – we were good … well, mostly.

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      My adult niece and nephews and their spouses get money from me, but I buy stuff for their kids and for my sisters and friends. I enjoy the shopping and the challenge of finding something I know they’ll enjoy.

      Time does pass more quickly the older we get. When we’re ten, each year is only 1/10th of our lives, but when we are 65, it is 1/65th of our lives, a much smaller piece of the pie.

      Today was a lovely day, warmish for the season. I did nothing but hang around the house. I even took a nap. Now I’m getting ready for football at 8:30

      My nephew was so afraid of getting a black star he’d do whatever he could to change it to a gold star. My sister loved it. That song set up the report card and my mother’s warning that Santa was always watching. I never questioned her.

      I guess we never questioned Santa. I always figured being good was an easy price to pay for all those toys. I think the line, “So be good for goodness’ sake,” is okay with me.

      Being naughty carried extreme penalties at Christmas!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    We didn’t get the threat of being on the wrong list. We got the threat of coal in the stocking. It would stop us from whatever we were doing mostly because it broke our rhythm not because we believed it would happen. 🙂

    I didn’t nap yesterday but I did lie down on the couch around 8PM. Mistake. Around 1AM I woke up. All the lights were still on. I was still dressed. Got myself ready for bed and turned out the lights only to find that I was wide awake and didn’t need to sleep anymore. Played games on my tablet and watched tv for a couple of hours before falling asleep again. I woke up at 6AM feeling rather grouchy but that went away once I got out in the sun.

    It was sunny and lovely up here. I even walked the dogs without a jacket. It’s strange to be unjacketed outside at the end of November. I was thinking that was great until I came back to the house saw all the winter moths clustered on my back door. A decent cold snap is needed.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      We also got the coal in the stocking threat. I guess my mother wasn’t passing up any opportunity.

      I have done the nap thing as well. I do try not to nap after 4 as after that is when sleep is affected, but I seldom succeed. Today I woke up at 5:30. I love naps!!

      I’m not going to complain, not when my sister has snow and 10˚. Winter can take its time getting here. I just watched the news and saw the horrific ice storms across the mid-west toppling electrical lines. The last thing I want is a house with no electricity, no heat this time of year.

      Have a great evening!

  5. Bob Says:

    This week we officially set the all time record for annual rainfall in the DFW area. The drought is over and we’ve had constant rain since Wednesday and cold temperatures since Thanksgiving morning. We went from a high of 68 to a high on Thursday of 40.

    Whenever I think of Santa I’m reminded of my favorite holiday movie, “The Christmas Story”. I love the scene when Ralphy is sliding down from Santa’s castle after telling him he wanted a football and grabs his boot to tell Santa what he really wanted for Christmas. Santa’s reply was classic, “Hey kid, you’ll shoot your eye out”.

    It’s a good thing we invented Santa to increase the kid’s desire to have their parents buy them more toys than they will ever play with. It develops the consumer instinct in kids early. Our entire economic system rests on consumerism in December. This year looks like a bonanza for the retail industry. Get out those credit cards and max them out to keep the economy going.

    Jewish kids have been sucked into this consumer tornado by convincing their parents to buy them toys for each of the eight nights of the holiday. Some families even put up blue and white Chaunukah bushes which have even less meaning than Christmas trees. Some smart guy has even invented a character to compete with Santa, or the elf on the shelf, called “The mensch on the bench”, ugh. Saturday Night Live came up with a spoof character called ‘Chaunukah Harry’. 🙂

    I’m glad to go back to work tomorrow.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I’m so glad the drought is over for you. I wish it were true for California as well. That is quite a drop in temperature. You’ve been colder than we have been here.

      I love that movie as well. I chuckle when his brother falls over and can’t get up. We were often dressed in as many clothes as Ralph’s brother. That whole Santa scene could have scared a lot of kids as they slid down after being pushed by the elf.

      I don’t think the number of toys increased because of Santa. I didn’t know any kid who thought that. Santa brought the toys and that was it. Being good for Santa just meant you’d get some of what was on your list, no guarantees. I think you’re putting way too much into the affect of Santa.

      I saw the news earlier and Black Friday was a bust down and by more than a billion dollars. On-line sales did much better than expected.

      You don’t think that Jewish kids envied other kids who got toys? When I was a kid, my Jewish friend got small gifts during Chanukah. She was quite content with that.

      I always hated the alarm going off at 5:00 on Mondays.


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