Good Ole Saint Nick - Remembering Things That Matter

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My niece Gracie was sitting in front of a fire I lit in my fireplace the other night and asked me with all sincerity “ how on earth is Santa going to come down your chimney without burning his bum?” I promised her I would absolutely make sure to put out the flame well before he arrived. The look of genuine relief that came across her face was priceless. She was just watching out for the old man, after all.

Her comments, coming from a 7 year old, are typically laughed off and quickly forgotten. But there are times like these when she comes up with a doozy that takes me by surprise and smacks of practicality well beyond her years.

An equally pragmatic example is a song I heard her singing as she was coloring the other day. She belted out in her usual perfect pitch “Don’t be a jerk, it’s Christmas!” I almost lost it. Sound words of advice for us all, I say.

When I was about Gracie’s age, on Christmas morning, my two sisters shoved cotton in the crack of my bedroom window and told me it was part of Santa’s beard. We didn’t have a chimney, so the logical explanation was that he used the window as an alternate route and in his haste was forced to rip and run.

Instead of questioning the obvious and asking myself, why in god’s name does this man have a cotton beard? I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. Of all the stops on this guy’s jam-packed route, mine had to be the one that clipped him on the way out. Nice work, I thought. He is NEVER coming back to this house of torture again.

You see, kids look after Santa. He encourages them to dream, answers their prayers and brings their wishes to life. He is an extremely important person and someone you definitely do not want to disappoint or in my case, cause undue pain or bodily harm.

I have always loved the holidays and have never lost my fondness for good ole Saint Nick. To me, he embodies the innocence of my childhood and the feeling of wonder and anticipation that I never want to lose.

As we sit beneath the sparkling lights, I will undoubtedly ask Gracie what she plans to leave out for our favorite fellow this time around. As she rattles off the usual spread of milk, cookies and an orange or two, I will ask my sister to throw in a few cotton balls on my behalf. Just to let him know I haven’t forgotten and to thank him for the yearly reminder of all of the wonderful things he represents.

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