Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Charlie's First Christmas

With but 21 days until Christmas I already feel stressed that I won't have anytime to actually enjoy the season. Halls remain undecked, eggs have yet to be nogged and I need to build a chimney in a hurry. As far as I can tell Charlie is pretty excited about her first Christmas and I don't want to disappoint her, particularly now when I don't need to spend a great deal of money to make all her holiday wishes come true. I'll wait until she starts asking for expensive electronics or designer clothing to do that. She has started "saying" a great deal recently but, to be honest, I can't understand a single word she says. I think she may be from out east. Regardless of what she's saying the tone is quite clear. She wants to remember this Christmas fondly.

The simplest way to ensure this is to get a photo taken of her with Santa. That should provide her, and us, with a treasured keepsake from her first Noel. Originally I thought this may be a bit of a challenge to orchestrate until I heard that PetSmart is offering pet owners the chance to get a picture of Ol' St. Nick with their cat or dog. I'm assuming it's only cats and dogs but who knows? It seems to me like you've already crossed a line separating ludicrous and non-ludicrous behaviour by facilitating such photography so why not throw in a ferret or a tarantula. This is good news for us as it presents options. If the Mall Santa seems a bit uncomfortable with a squirmy baby we can always head over to PetSmart where I'm sure their Santa would be thrilled to have something diapered on his lap.

That raises an interesting question. Is there a hierarchy of Santas and if so how are ranks determined? The PetSmart gig strikes me as one not particularly high on the list of desirable assignments so how is it determined who has to take it? I saw a gentleman who was clearly of Middle Eastern descent dressed up as Santa waiving a sign outside of a cell phone store in Florida the other week. Let's presume that's the bottom of the ladder. He was slender and had a visible black moustache. At the other end of the spectrum would be the Santa from the parade float. He's the fat guy who grows his own long white beard and has prescription spectacles. Between those two extremes things get a little less clear. Who's to say who deserves the gig at the high-end mall and who's stuck ringing the bell outside the liquor store? Is there a measure of a jolliness that also accounts for creepiness? Is there a scale of redcheekedness that won't favour problem drinkers? I wouldn't know where to begin.

I recall a conversation with a former co-worker who told me that her husband was a rabbi at an old folk's home. This was a position he had "graduated" to after serving as a rabbi on a cruise ship. I found this all very fascinating. Unfortunately I didn't think to ask her what his next logical progression would be nor where he would have been relegated to had he not made the grade on the cruise ship. Presumably with rabbis it would be a bit easier to establish rank based on experience and mastery of the rabbinical texts. What makes a good or bad Santa is a bit less tangible. There's a chance that given the less scientific approach to determining which Santas get the plum gigs and which ones are forced to pose with some idiot's poodle we could end up finding a hidden gem of a Santa somewhere unexpected. If anyone out there knows of a great, clean Santa please let me know as my time to research this is already quite limited.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steve - one of the better Santa's in this town is at Bayview Village..he's a high-grade Santa..real beard and all.

You should also include one more condition in the grading of Santa's. One's ability to either soothe a nervous child or scare the living jeeebuz out of them (the latter being graded much higher, of course).