I have a problem with Santa Claus

Christmas was always very exciting growing up; the holiday feeling , freedom from school and home works, the continuous expectation of new and assorted gifts  the unimaginable thrill of turning my house into a wonderland of light and colours. Everyone shared in the exhilaration, family became united at that point, and everyone pitched in, even my African oriented and American trained Father. At least he’ll pass and grunt or favour us with a comment such as

 “That thing looks like a witch’s coven” or “why is that thing hanging over my chair?”

Anyway, we were grateful for every contribution from him, no matter how critical, it meant we were doing it together. My little sister and I were probably where the creators of Tom and Jerry got their inspiration from; we were daily on each other’s throats, and with her repetitively getting the better of me. But the yuletide was a truce period, even for eternal warring parties like us. Then, there was Santa Claus, the personification of all things Christmas, the carrier of the holiday spirit and the brand of the season.  Baby Jesus whose birthday it was, really got little or no attention, He just looked cute on Mary’s arm adding colour to the deco.

There was one snag to Christmas though, and it came with the Santa’s list. Having been made to believe that my Christmas gift came from Santa clause, which made his list based on how good or bad I had been. Enforced by the popular Christmas song “Santa Claus is coming to town”:

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town

He's making a list
And checking it twice
Gonna find out Who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town

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 dogma served as a very strong behavioural management and corrective tool in my mother’s hands, because without much persuasion, my mother got me to do my chores, clean my room, do the dishes and every other odd job she could think up. It was so entrenched in me that I offered to do volunteer work every now and then. Santa had me hooked. So when I grew up, and painfully realised the truth about Santa, I have to tell you, I have a few problems with him.

     1. He passed off a wrong C.V.
The guy claimed to know everything about me, when I’m awake and when I am asleep and everything I do. I don’t know the surveillance team he employs, but it’s an over estimation of his abilities if you ask me. When it comes to omnipresence or omnipotence, I already have God to deal with, and He is much nicer. Truth is when it comes to religion, I’m an apologetics.

     2. He made a list.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was a kid like any other; my bad quota always outweighed my good quota, no matter how hard I tried. It was hard to come first in school, clean up after myself, never tell a lie no matter the consequence, and the myriad of other things I had to keep up with or be good at to merit a place at the top of his list.

     3. He had no permanent address
          If I knew his forwarding address or his P.O.Box, I would have written to make a 
          case why I merited a good Christmas present in-spite of my perceived bad 
          performances. I was armed with cogent, heart moving tales of struggle that would 
          have melted any hard heart, but they said the guy lived at the North Pole, no 
          address, no email, no BB pin, Very frustrating.

    4. He could get me only what my parents could afford
         If I have to confess, this was my biggest problem with Father Christmas. Every year 
         I was encouraged to make a wish to an all benevolent, limitless Santa. So I would go 
         to town with my imagination, and make a list of the coolest toys and fly bikes, and 
         every year I was disappointed. Even the year when I did my best and believed I 
         deserved some extra points. What I didn’t know was that Santa could only give 
         what my parents could pay for, and since we were not swimming in dough, I could 
         not get whatever I wished. If I had been told, I would have amended my desires to 
         meet with the depth of my parent’s pocket.

   5. He came just once in a year
        I know you’ll tell me so does birthdays and anniversaries, but if the dude was that 
        powerful, he could make his visits more frequent. Fun should not be left for just 
        once in a year, I found the journey from January to December rather tedious, and 
        would have appreciated it if it was broken by another Christmas maybe by June or  
        something. But I guess Santa is not into multiple funs.

I still love the Christmas holidays, most certainly for different reasons now, and I still love Santa Claus, Christmas would not have been fun without the old fellow. I still cherish the feeling of absolute fun and merriness that fills the air at Christmas. I may no longer look under a tree to see my Christmas present, I may have to pull out my master card to get one, but I still do it with the same thrill. So ladies and gentlemen I hope you have a beautiful and exciting…


"Image courtesy of digitalart/FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a Nigerian born and based minister, public speaker, entrepreneur and life coach. His keen and unique perspective to life issues makes him a refreshing voice to listen to. He currently serves as the Executive Coordinator of House on the Rock - Word House and sits on the board of a number of companies.

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