I waited in line at Target yesterday behind a woman buying a Santa costume, reindeer footprints, fake snow and a cookie plate to feed the fictitious character. “My nine year old still believes,” she giddily told the cashier. Having an almost nine year old myself, I was pretty incredulous that any kid that age still bought the whole Santa thing, but if she wanted to put forth all that effort, more power to her. I’ve never been so glad to be Jewish.
I mean, there’s no way I’d be up for all of the work that you Christmas celebrating parents have to put forth. You must successfully convince your children that an overweight man, carted by twelve reindeer in the sky, delivered their presents via the chimney while they were sleeping. I have friends who leave faux evidence of reindeer poop or have family come dressed as Santa so they have photographic proof of the visit. Personally, I want some credit for the gifts, since I’m the one who shopped for them, bought them and wrapped them. But, bravo to you folks who go the whole nine yards.
You know who else deserves a bravo? The children belonging to those of us who don’t celebrate Christmas. It turns out, they are the true heroes of the season. Imagine the pressure those kids face of being in on the act and not being able to tell their friends that the whole thing is a hoax. We train our kids to tell the truth, but they have to bite their tongues while their friends get their pictures taken at the mall and find elves invading their homes and track Santa’s whereabouts online. The whole damn advent calendar is like a ticking time bomb, just waiting to see if our kid is going to be the asshole who ruins Christmas for the ones who still believe.
So, while you’re decorating your gingerbread houses or baking your Santa cookies or making your world famous fudge, think of that nice Jewish kid in you child’s class and make an extra batch for him. He’s been working his ass off for you and never gets any credit. Or, he’s the one you’re cursing for blowing the whole thing. In that case, cut him a little slack. He really did try.