Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmastime Fears

First of all, Happy Hanukkah! If you are celebrating the Festival of Lights, I hope it has been great so far and that the last few days will also be full of family, laughter, and happiness!

And now I'm going to talk about Christmas traditions revolving around Santa. Sorry about that.

When I was a kid, I believed in Santa for a long time. I really wanted to - it seemed like if I stopped believing I would stop getting awesome gifts and everything would be boring. That didn't turn out to be true, of course, because Christmas is pretty awesome and the definition of "awesome gifts" shifts over the years. (For example, I'm looking forward to getting a new pair of slippers this year. Also, I am 80.) Lots of families have lots of different Santa-adjacent traditions, but one thing is constant: the threat of Santa is enough to bring about fairly good behavior for most of a month. You know...

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!

When I was a kid, the thought of Santa seeing me sleep freaked me the fuck out. In fact, the fact that Santa was presumably ALWAYS WATCHING WHAT I DID really made me nervous. Christmas Eve was a majorly stressful night for young Meg for a couple of reasons: a) anticipation of awesome presents, and b) holy crap, is Santa going to come into my room while I'm asleep? I used to wake up in the middle of the night convinced I could see Santa looking into my window.

go away, creeper

Even the IDEA of hearing reindeer on the roof was enough to send me into a child-sized panic attack. I spent many of my childhood nights standing at my bedroom window, terrified, absolutely sure I could hear someone breaking into our house. So the idea of Santa coming into the house, eating our cookies, and walking around was not exactly exciting. Nice of him to leave a Nintendo, though.

A couple of years ago I started noticing a new trend - the Elf on the Shelf. Apparently this is Santa's minion, sent to spy on kids and report back to the Big Guy on said kids' behavior. Some of my parent friends have embraced the Elf - giving it a name, putting it in a new position each morning as a game for the kids to find it, talking about it. Personally, I think this would freak me out even more than Santa looking in my window. Have you seen this thing?


Its limbs are flat, it is missing the left half of its eyelashes on both eyes and the blush is over the top. It's small, it hides in your house, and it spies on you. I don't think I could have handled this as a kid. Honestly, I'm not sure I can handle it now. You should see my face when I spot an Elf on the Shelf in a friend's house. 

or something like that

So, to recap: I don't like it when fictional characters watch me sleeping and keep a record of my daily activities. Maybe this is why I don't enjoy Twilight?

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