There’s so many exciting things about the month of December, and no more so than for kids all around the world. The anticipation of Santa arriving on Christmas morning, bringing all the toys and treats they’ve been nagging Mum and Dad for all year, what’s not to get wound up about?
But what about sparing a thought for the forgotten children of Christmas? The tiny people, not yet forming full words or an understanding of what this strange world is about? What about the kids that hate Santa’s guts?
Yesterday I couldn’t help but feel I was on set playing out a small guest role in Nightmare on Elm Street.
A seemingly cheerful Christmas party in a setting of a sailing club shouldn’t normally bring about such levels of anxiety for anyone, aside from those who have severe phobias about boats…but for the forgotten children of Christmas, what unfolded was nothing short of their first experience of utter terror.
With two little girls under the age of two, we frocked up and got amongst the Christmas cheer which was all going very well until the rumblings amongst the guests that Santa was not far away. Rumoured to be arriving any minute on a little dingy, how were we to know all was not well?
“Santa’s on his way sweety!” we cheered. “Any minute now…look, can you see him yet?” we asked our girls.
Little Evie’s face, who’d been smiling, blowing bubbles with the Bubble Man, playing with the small farm animals she’d never seen outside of her Golden Books, turned ashen. Using the only full words she knew outside of ‘Mum, Mum’ and ‘Dad, Dad’, she cried, “NO, No Man!”
No, man? Hang on, this is the most popular man in the world? What was she talking about? “No, noooo man,” as her head shook back and forth ferociously.
This is the man, the guy parents delightedly, brazenly thrust their children at, planting them on his lap and then stepping back looking on with such joy. The only man that we’ve all been given to as children with no question of police checks or the necessity to get a good look at his face before we entrust our precious kids with him. We’ve all been on that lap at least once in our lives.
And if that’s not enough for those kids who do not trust this man, we further traumatize them by warning with a huge smile on our faces that this strange man will be entering the house in the middle of the night, and while he’s there he’ll even have the nerve to drink your milk, eat YOUR cookies then leave the dirty dishes for mummy to clean up.
No stacking the dishwasher for this special bloke. Outrageous.
I felt the need today to pen this little note on behalf of all those kids replacing HO, HO, HO, with NO, NO, NO.
As I’m only 18 months old, there are many things that are new to me in the world. One of them is YOU. For some reason my parents won’t shut up about you. They’ve put pictures up of you all over the house. They tell me how great you are and you’re going to creep into our house on the 25th of December. I’m writing now to ask you NOT TO!!! I get the other kids think you’re cool, but I’m not buying it. Speaking of buying, I don’t need your gifts. I’m happy to wait till I’m old enough to buy my own stuff. You need to know you’re ruining my trips to Westfield too. With all due respects, I’m happy to review my feelings towards you next year, but right now….the only gift I need from you is that of space… between you… and me. Much appreciated, little Evie.
The reality of life is, even for guys as popular as Santa, sometimes you just cannot avoid coming up against a really tough crowd now and then.