Yes, I know. What about the pressies? (for pity’s sake, someone needs to bear responsibility for last year’s Lapland inspired home-knits). Or the shopping centre grottos? (So lifelike).
And if it’s not Santa, then who exactly drinks (increasing quantities) of the (aged malt) whiskey left out every Christmas Eve?
Alas, dear friends, these are mysteries to be contemplated alone. But the fact remains. No Claus. Nada. None. Not a pickle. Not so much as a red-painted toe. Or an elf. (Well, maybe we’ll let the elf slide. The Irish tourist board has to earn a crust after all). Yes – forget Assange, this is the leak of the decade.
Now, you might argue that I’m being a little harsh on old Santy. But can I just say, raised in a non-Christian family, he was a huge part of many wonderful family Christmases. I have a lot of time for the man, really I do. (Pre-Christmas wasn’t such a joy, particularly the year Dad phoned Lapland to cancel my Barbie Dream House because I’d destroyed my brother’s Lego Tower. But that’s another, sadder story. Or maybe a blockbuster. A John Grisham-style global conspiracy about keeping kiddies moral).
Okay, so Monsieur Claus and I don’t keep in touch as often as we’d like, but hey, modern life is busy. Surely Santa’s welcome at all homes this Christmas? He might be a man of few words (or ho ho hos), but he can be relied upon to at least twinkle, quietly in the corner. The guy might have a few too many sherries, even pinch a couple of bottoms. But nothing harmful. Stick him in front of ‘Strictly’ and he’ll be right as rain in no time.
Everyone loves Santa, right?
(enter Evil Emma, stage left).
Personally, I’m suspicious of anyone who feel the need to cover his face. Clowns. Psychopaths. But that’s probably just me.
I’m sure that when you get to know him, he’s Lovely. Really, a really – nice, guy. Just one of those bog-standard blokes with a penchant for dressing up in a red romper suit and enough facial hair to carpet Buckingham Palace.
(That cotton wool trim ain’t fooling anyone pal. I got your number).
Look, I’m trying to be reasonable, but one too many Hark the Herald’s is enough to tip anyone over the edge. (Eighteen carol services so far and counting. And I don’t even like singing that much. Now there’s a confession)
‘WHAT’S UNDER THE BEARD OLD MAN?!!!’
Time to come clean about what’s lurking under your suit. Or do I have to spell it out?
Would you take this man home to meet your mum?
‘You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town’
Scared yet? This is worse than the crawly thing that lives under my bed. The bogeyman might frighten you to death, but at least he has no problem with pouting.
And there’s more..
He’s making a list,
Checking it twice;
Gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town
One. The guy’s a private detective. Those secrets you think you’ve buried – front page fodder for the Man in Red. That hole in the CV – he’s gonna blow it, sky-high. Nothing, but nothing escapes this man. We’re talking Poirot with bleach.
Two. He’s not only making a list , (control freak). He’s checking it TWICE. (obsessive-compulsive. And that’s bad enough with just three relatives to buy for, let alone All The Kiddies In The World. Little wonder the man’s a workaholic):
Santa’s a busy man he has no time to play
He’s got millions of stockings to fill on Christmas day
Santa Claus is coming to town
Town, eh? Metro-centered bigot. What about those poor folk who live in the country? Don’t they deserve a bit of tinsel too?
Santy, let it go. No-one wants to be ageist, but really, you’re too old to be driving yourself like this. Stand back my elfin chums, something’s gotta give. .
Oh, and here’s my favourite:
He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
This, dear brothers, is not a song. It’s a threat.
And the main character here ain’t Santa. He’s a Stalker.
You don’t want him near you, let alone your kids. End of the day – it’s him or you.
So, it’s just as well he doesn’t exist, eh? I’m only sorry I had to be the one to break the news.
But what’s that? You say you already knew? Well, thanks for sharing!
Actually, I think I might have picked up on that too. But here’s the thing. I appear to have forgotten. Or rather, I’ve transposed the things I like about Father Christmas, to another, slightly better Dad. The Lord of the Cosmos Dad, to be precise. Or as I sometimes relate to Him, ‘Santa in the Sky’. Glen and I have been chatting about this over the weekend, (check out his video) so apologies to anyone who’s already been the recipient of our ire, but I feel it bears repeating.
Consider the evidence.
Too often, God is Someone with whom I feel I only need to clock in once, maybe twice a year. Christmas and Easter. That should do it. After all, things to do, people to see.
And here’s the deal. If I’m good, He delivers. We both know how it works. So my prayer lists tend to run something like this,
For Monday, please could I have:
enough money to get through the week
good time with family and friends
energy to get the house sorted
a good chat with Colin about the fencing
that nice brand of stuffed olive back in stock in Sainsbury’s (not the gherkin one, that’s revolting. Yellow label and green bits, that’s the one)
thanks. I’ll try and be good,
oh, and if you’ve got a minute, a parking space near the shopping centre would be fab.
Catch you later
This isn’t a relationship. It’s a performace-related bonus scheme. I don’t want Jesus, just like I don’t really want Santa. Instead, I want His gifts. Show me the money!
But Jesus is real. And He won’t be relegated to a tiny corner of my life, just like the Christmas story won’t be tucked away with Goldilocks and the Sleeping Giant. Here’s a great quotation – sorry I can’t find the source – ‘This child in a manger fills the whole world’.
And the child is not just for those of us who are desperate to fill the Santa hole and believe in something, anything. He’s for you and for me. He’s for the banker, the binman, the child, the invalid, the prince and the pauper. He’s for the award-winning, hard-nosed scriptwriter of Eastenders, who was commissioned to modernise the Nativity story for TV, but instead met and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. Tony Jordan initially accepted the commission on the understanding that he would write a comedic ‘Allo Allo’ style nativity sitcom, to make the story of Jesus’ birth ‘relevant’ and ‘real’. He found that the facts as written in the Gospels (the eye-witness accounts of Jesus’ life), were far more startling and real than the hardest-hitting TV drama.
Here’s what he says;
‘I don’t come from a religious background and I don’t think I’m anybody’s fool. I was expelled from school at 14. I’ve been in trouble. I know that people from my sort of background have always discounted the story of the nativity and I certainly didn’t believe it when I started on it three years ago. But now I do…I have a distaste for organised religion because they tamper with stories, add a bit here, take a bit off there, and then start killing each other because the other one doesn’t agree. The only thing I know for sure is that the words I read as coming from Jesus Christ are the most truthful thing I have ever heard’.
(Daily Telegraph, Saturday 18 December, 2010)
This Christmas, will you take the time to read one of the eye-witness stories of Jesus’ life , just like Jordan did?
Will you ask the Lord, if you are there, please show yourself to me?
If, like Santa Claus, there’s no-one really home, then you lose nothing.
But if that baby is who He claims to be, then this Gift changes everything.