Daily Archives: December 23, 2011
Me: Grandma, do you think Santa Claus will bring me a…
Her: Santa Claus? Your mother aint tell you about that yet? You are too old to still be believing in some damned Santa Claus. We buy all that stuff. There aint no Santa Claus.
Me: Huh, but where do you keep it?
Her: We hide it somewhere or she puts it on layaway and picks it up at the last minute. That’s why she be so tired in the morning, because she’s been up all night wrapping that stuff. You aint never notice the handwriting is the same on the presents?
Her: Plus, how does he get in the house. We boarded up the chimney before you was even born. And when yall lived in that apartment, how was he getting in there? You know he aint climbing through nobody window over there. They woulda been killed him.
Me: Why did yall tell me that then?
Her: Because it’s special. It’s nice to have something to believe in when you’re young. But, hell you almost nine years old. You don’t need to be walking around here with that in your head. At some point you just look foolish.
I remember that conversation like it was yesterday. I don’t know how most kids feel when they learn the truth, but I wasn’t really devastated. More than anything I felt stupid for wasting my time writing all of those letters. I was a super nerd as a kid. What’s worse is that I didn’t have anyone to play with growing up and I was always by myself, so I had a LOT of time on my hands.
I used to write Santa Claus a letter at least once a week. And these weren’t your typical letters either. I approached it like I was writing a grant proposal or something. There would be about a page dedicated solely to listing every accomplishment of the week, every opportunity to do wrong that I avoided and a reminder of past good deeds from previous weeks’ letters. The second page would be an updated list of what I wanted along with footnotes. The final pages (yes, pages–plural) would be an appendix complete with charts, schematics and concept art for the custom toys that I wanted the elves to build.
I never wanted just the stuff you could buy in the store. Ironically, I felt like my mother could go buy the stuff out of the store, Santa had a workshop and should therefore present me with a custom made gift. So I had ideas for radio controlled planes that turned into cars and ran on AA batteries instead of those bulky D ones. I drew diagrams for what I thought would be cooler versions of the Transformers already in the store.
It used to take me hours to draw these things up and then I’d run to the mailbox and drop in my letter. A guy from the post office came to my school one year and told us that we didn’t need stamps on letters to Santa because they traveled by elf magic. To this day I wonder if any postal worker ever saw that thick envelope and wondered who the hell was sending Santa Claus a legal brief.