Thursday, December 15, 2011

Exploiting the Claus

I suddenly understand how Santa became so huge.  And by "huge" I mean deeply ingrained in holiday culture. ... not rotund. ... which he is as well and that's probably a result of all the cookies and whole milk.  Is Mrs. Claus checking this guy for diabetes?  Sorry, I digress.  You see it wasn't the children who made him popular, it was the parents.  Sure you see lines of kids waiting to sit on a jolly lap and millions of letters addressed to "The North Pole", but this obsession with the man in red is an idea implanted a la Inception by the parents.  They want their kids to love Santa.  They want them to believe in him and revere him and, yes even fear him, because he can be used as a method of control. ... at least for a month or two.  You see, the real Christmas story involves the birth of Jesus.  But Jesus is a year round figure, and to be honest the more secular the world becomes the more of his swagger he seems to lose.  When you 5 your not really thinking about eternal life, you're thinking about Matchbox cars and My Little Ponies.  So thanks Jesus for the gift of heaven but what I asked for was a Tickle Me Elmo. ... did you keep the receipt?  And if you think about it, it would be pretty sacrilegious to have dudes with long brown hair and beards (stoners and hippies basically ;) sit in white robes near the food court telling kids they'll get them a puppy if their good.  It would kind of turn Jesus in to a sell out.  So parents needed someone else. ... someone who could get away with it. ... preferably someone who had access to flying deer.  Now you've got this Santa character (based on a real saint which lends him a lot of credibility) who is human so he can be commercialized with every TV commercial between October 31st and January 25th, and yet he retains this power to know when you are sleeping and know when you're awake.  Suddenly the parents have the power.  The girls are really into Santa this year - after all they've decided that Santa must be the one who is bringing "New Sissie" since it's so close to Christmas.  And we found ourselves pushing this reverence and then exploiting the crap out of it.  Last night was "now you need to go to sleep with no crying because Santa is watching and he only brings presents to good little girls."  What the hell have we become?!!!  But it worked.  Lights out, almost no sounds.  This after a slew of crying episodes the last week or so.  And I remember my parents doing the same exact thing to me. ... and again, it worked very well.  So while the holiday season may have started as a celebration of the birth of Christ (and by the way, it's nearly impossible that Jesus was actually born on December 25th because shepherd's don't tend their flocks by night in the winter. ... it's cold - likewise unless Cesar wanted to insight mass uprising and be just a total a-hole he wouldn't have forced people to travel for a census in the coldest month of the year. ... he would have had that happen in the spring or summer. ... but whatever) it's become a celebration for the ability of parents to control their children through use of a bribery agent.  You see, if it's just me giving my kids gifts for being good they'll catch on that I'm their parent and I'm going to give them gifts regardless of their behavior because I love them.  But if it's some authoritarian with a check list who unobjetivly marks "naughty" or "nice" then it's really on them to kick the good behavior in to overdrive for the last 60 days or so leading up.  Now my opinion is we should build up all the holiday mascots to such a powerful state and obtain year round good behavior.  Easter Bunny only delivers eggs to good kids houses.  Jack-o-Lantern only gives candy to the good monsters and goblins.  Teachers only give summer break to the A and B students. ... maybe not that last one. ... then again. ....

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