Did Santa Come???
There was some debate last night amongst my family about whether or not Santa would visit our home this year. The argument centered around what constituted “naughty” and “nice.” My two children had been both naughty and nice this year and it was difficult to figure out which side of the list they fell on. My son made the point, correctly, that he was considerably nicer than his sister, and speculated that it was possible that Santa might bring him presents but not her. I agreed with his assessment. My wife seemed to think that if he brought one child presents he would most likely bring the other one presents as well.
“Not so,” I said. I then explained that there was no familial clause in the “naughty/nice” contract; there is no “nice by association.” The equation is pretty binary. Either you deserve presents or you don’t. At this point my daughter was getting upset. “I don’t blame you,” I said. “I would be upset too if I’d acted like a total cunt all year long.”
(She didn’t know that word, but I think my intonation clued her in to its meaning.)
My son was gloating about the whole thing, which I explained to him was naughty behavior, and potentially enough to tip him over to the other side of the list. Because, although he was nice compared to his sister, he definitely fell short again in my eyes. Then I said it’s a good thing some kids kill people because Santa grades on a curve and those kids keep everybody else in the game.
My wife thought I was taking this whole thing too far. I told her to fuck off.
(I should add that at this point in the evening I was pretty snookered on egg nog. It was only much later when we were in bed and I was making drunken passes at her that my wife informed me there was no alcohol in it.)
I said that what’s the point in me being nice all year long when my naughty kids end up getting presents just like I do? “Why be nice if there’s no reward in it?”
My wife told me being nice is a reward unto itself.
“THEN WHY DO WE HAVE FUCKING SANTA CLAUS?” I screamed. “I BUST MY ASS ALL YEAR DOING GOOD SHIT FOR ALL THE ORPHANS AND FOR YOU FUCKERS AND WHAT’S MY REWARD? A FUCKING SWEATER FROM BANANA REPUBLIC WHILE YOU GET A SHITLOAD OF TOYS!” I paused, then added an unnecessary “Fuck that.”
Both children burst into tears and my wife was now threatening to call the cops. (At some point during this last exchange I had grabbed a big wooden meat mallet, which I was waving around, although I never actually threatened anybody with it – in my mind, I was using it for emphasis.) I told her to go ahead and call the pigs but that I’m Jewish and I don’t eat pork. I wasn’t exactly sure what I meant by this but it seemed incredibly witty at the time. (Keep in mind I still thought I was drunk.) The fact that, as a Jew, I shouldn’t even be celebrating Christmas went unremarked upon by the other, Catholic members of my household.
Fortunately, all that mallet waving wore me out pretty good, and soon I was sitting on the kitchen floor sobbing. “I love you guys,” I wept, gathering my now catatonic children around me. “I’m sure Santa’s going to be great to you this year.” Then I gently rocked them to sleep while singing a song I made up about how one day Daddy will be gone and everybody will be happier.
This morning, the kids were up at the crack of dawn. They ran downstairs to see what Santa brought. Turns out I was right all along. He didn’t bring them shit. I did end up getting another shit sweater from Banana Republic, and he left my wife a basketful of coupons for the grocery store because if she’s going to be buy the fucking name brand Wheat Thins, she might as well get them at a discount.