Friday, December 4, 2009

Dear Santa,

Yesterday my son Chip and I decided to get some holiday shopping done and went to the mall. The air had a slight chill, and the mall was all sparkling and glittery. Holiday music blared out of speakers. Shoppers laden with shopping bags, scurrying about with purpose. Amidst the hubbub, my son saw you. Sitting on your big red chair in the middle of the mall. My son was mesmerized. His eyes would have put the well-crafted Disney character to shame. “Is that Santa’s work shop?” he whispered to me. “Yes.” I replied. He inched forward, half-shy, half-delighted. There was no one in line. No one wanted to take pictures with you yesterday, you were just chatting up the photographer. I saw my son go through the ropes and stare at you in fascination – you do look just like you look in your pictures- and then he uttered a shy “Hi”, and waved. You could not NOT have noticed him. He was inches away from you. Standing there with a silly grin plastered on his face. He tried again, you ignored him again. The photographer and the elf turned and saw me, so did you. You saw I did not reach out for my wallet. My son stood there and watched you and you did not even wave to him. He just came back after a few minutes. Utterly delighted that he “saw” Santa. Not caring for a bit that you did not even throw him a glance.

We finished our shopping and were headed back home. My son wanted to tell you that he has been a good boy. And he wanted to show you his list. And ask you if you would come to his house this year. He wanted to tell you he was going to bake cookies and set out a glass of milk (and juice) because you would be so tired. But all that had a price tag. Of what? $15? $20? When I told him, you were tired and would not talk (for I could not find it in my heart to tell him the truth), he just sighed and said, “It’s ok if he doesn’t come, Aie. I’ll put on a costume and be a Santa myself and give gifts to everyone.”

When you put on that costume, dear Santa, I hope you realize the tremendous responsibility you have. At some point you have to go above and beyond your hourly wage and smile and assure the child in every one that, even when the times are grim and money is tight, there are some things that will never change. That the jingle of the bells, the silver of the beard and the twinkling smile will warm a heart, not only at 4, but even at 40.

Chip’s mom.


K3 said...

Awww, Dottie. The last statement is sooo true, but I loved what Chip said - such a warmhearted, good little boy.

Vinita said...

You might want to send this post/letter to that mall and tell them what exactly you felt as a mother.

If adults especially santa claus starts acting this way the whole magic of christmas will just disappear.

As you said he needs to know that there is a certain amount of responsibility when he adorned that red suit.

In so many other places the parents won't take a picture of their child with santa because either they are in a hurry or already they have taken one or any other reason. Yet the santa claus will smile at the kids and hand out a candy cane.

This was sad.

Rohini said...

What a meanie!

DotThoughts said...

K3 - I was a lil surprised to see that he knows deep down that santa is a "concept".. and that anyone can be santa!!

Vinita: There is an idea. Come to think of it.. I think this area on a surly scale of 1-10, is the urliest. i have to find a study that proves this. People are really not friendly around here!!

Ro: You bet!!

zenga said...

This 'Santa' should really be at you-know-where doing a you-know-what to have every onlooker sticking bills in his belt! That's one sure way to beat the hourly wage, and keep all onlookers happy at the same time. What a jerk!

Shobana said...

Chee chee, cheapy santa :(

We were at a party hosted by the realor this AM and there was a Santa who looked like a rat caught in a trap! At least he had a good attitude. Called the Boy "honey" when he said Thanks! The boy's face looked like a 1000V bulb and the look in his eyes was pure joy to look at!

Anonymous said...

You can really send this letter to all heartless Santas.I love chip.

PG said...

Awww...I would also say somthing to the mall about it. In that case it is better not to have one Santa there than to have one who doesn't even pay attention to kids.
Chip is amazing!
God bless him!

Sands said...

That was lovely of Chip to say that. So true how reality throws a wet blanket on a beautiful tradition at times:(

Doli said...

mean fellow!

DotThoughts said...

Zenga - when I read this comment I thought, wow that a bit strong, BUT, we went to the mall again this Saturday and the Santa said to Chip "Go to your mom". I want to print your comment and show it to him.

Shobana: awwww.. can you send your Santa here?

Aie - tee hee. He loves you too :D

PG: Right? I dunno how many kids he has traumatized.

Sands: You said it so well!

Doli: I'll take you to the mall. Will tell him that? I am spineless :)

Anonymous said...

Dear DotThoughts,
I have been a silent reader of your blog for quite a while. I _had_ to delurk to comment on this post.
I do hope you write to the Mall and let them know. One of the hardest things, as a mother, is to protect the innocence of a child in face of callousness and indifference. Because it is not the indifference of other that hurts the deepest - it is the largesse of our children in the face of such callousness that brings us to our knees.
Chip is such a sweetheart. I have a 7 yo daughter who is very much like Chip in this regard - and my heart skipped a sad beat hearing Chip's selfless proclamation. Ms A says similar things all the time.

May the season bring you heaps of good cheer and some real Christmas spirit.

Love to that very selfless little Chip.


Mama - Mia said...

well atleast Chip knows what Christmas is all about really! :)

and that Santa, well he was a jerk! gah!

that said on a side note, have you read Hogfather by Terry Pratchett? Phenomenal book! :)


Just Like That said...

What a waste of a Santa that guy/girl is! Honestly! I too think youshould go to the Mall and complain.
Arrey, leave alone Santa any human being would be forced to smile at the innocent delight on a child's face.
Hugs to Chip, and he's a great guy!

Subhashree said...

Sigh. How adults are insensitive to small and kids and their sentiments! But Chip is really sweet and a good boy.