Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I don't remember ever believing in Santa Clause and I am not sure I like that. I was never brought up to believe in magic or fairy tales. No one tucked me in with a bed story. And among animated characters, I liked Pink Panther because he never talked. I never believed in talking animals, or fairies who could transform a king into a frog or a carriage into a pumpkin, not even as early as 3 or 4 years old, at least I never remember I did. Three geese attacked me early in my childhood and that was enough to scare the hell out of me of anything moving on four for the rest of my life. And yes, if you ask me, I will tell you that geese, ducks, chickens, and birds have four legs. Throwing a horrified cat at me few years later didn't help much either. I had another bitter experience with a cow who suddenly somehow entered my grandma's kitchen and four men tried to push it back through the narrow door. I crawled under a table at the corner of the kitchen screaming madly, and peed in my pants, I am not sure if it was out of hysterical laughing or of a panic attack. To see animated Disney characters talk and live in houses didn't trigger much imagination or any fondness in magic. I preferred the real stories that my father used to recount about his childhood: the scarecrows that scared them more than the birds, the ugly doll he made out of mere sticks and threads, and gave to his younger sister, my aunt, as a present, and the chewing-gum they hid from each other and no one dared ever chew. The first thing I remember about Santa is that there is no Santa. I never thought much about it anyway but I remember wondering once about the stupid idea of making Santa come from the chimney. We never had a chimney, not one that can fit someone as fat and not when it is lit anyway. I was amazed this Christmas when I saw a group of kids anxiously waiting for Santa on Christmas eve, and when he arrived, one of them screamed: this is not the real Santa! Another three year old, hid under his mother's skirt and only showed up again when Santa was taking off. He waved good bye to him with a huge smile and in his heart, he hoped, he will never show up ever again.