Monday, December 10, 2012

the santa diaries.....




christmas has always been a very big deal for me. sadly, with my family, it was all about the presents. steady on now people, we had a naivety display in our living room and we were all happy for joesph and mary and that fantastic story of theirs. but if we're being honest i used the naivety figures as foreigners in my barbie tales. i am a good and noble person but the biblical version of christmas didn't include any gifts for me. but santa on the other hand had flying deer and a sack full of toys. so, you see, don't be so fast to judge.

where i'm from, christmas was a community event. that was one advantage to being related to everyone in your village. well that and the wide spread present exchange. everybody gave everybody else a present. the gifts were not expensive - i remember my mom giving out boxes of kleenex. the gifts also had very strict gender lines. all the men received one sort of gift and the same followed for the women. my mom often gave each man a pack of playing cards and the women a pretty tea towel. children usually got mittens or a golden book. it was truly a lovely thing. small tokens of acknowledgement.

we also did a little thing called "see the tree".  after christmas, families went from house to house seeing the tree and the gifts. each and every gift under the tree had to be shown off by the recipient and admired. men were sometimes reluctant to join in but once they got started they proved to be quite the showmen. you would have a bit of a lunch or "mug-up" at the person's house and then you moved on. it was an intricate ballet with villagers dancing to and fro to familiar steps. now please don't get the idea it was all dickens' like - the men often complained they didn't receive the much coveted knitted pecker warmer and there were frequent nips of the demon rum

ok, so then there was santa. during the holiday season he was on tv every night -  right after the weather forecast. magically, there he was - in his grotto, beseeching us to follow the christmas pledge. the pledge had to be chanted aloud daily and it went as follows

i promise to be good in every way
so that i can help make everyday
almost as happy as christmas day.
ho ho ho

as a child i was rabid follower.  now i think, absolute damn genius on the part of the canadian broadcasting corporation.  our version of create a cult - scientology north. i'm here to tell you that while some may have said the pledge with absolute confidence, there were some of us that treated it as the ultimate hail mary. my anxiety level would sky rocket around the 1st of december. i mean to even imagine that i might be held accountable for all of my transgressions was enough to have me asking for pepto bismol every night. it wasn't enough for you to repeat the pledge and mean it, you had to actually plan to be good the next day.  whatever your particular behavior might be - nose picking, fire starting, excessive talking.... you had to give it up, cold turkey. i didn't stand a chance - i was a chronic hard core talker. how the hell was everyone around me going to know what i was thinking if i stopped talking?  strapping, dunce hats, corner standing, blackboard writing, head cuffs, knuckle raps with the ruler had all been tried. trust me, if the provincial school system hadn't been able to shut me up did santa really stand a chance?

the short answer would be no. i tried, i tried so hard but they snuck out, those little opinions, those little suggestions that surprisingly irritated people. and to make it all the more difficult, santa could apparently see into your living room through the tv screen. he sometimes gave a shout out to kids named bonnie or allan - good children. i never heard my name, not even something that could be mistaken for my name. he was watching me and he could tell i was a pledge dodger. so the build up to christmas was fraught with hand wringing and compulsive pledge chanting.

then the morning would arrive and i will say every year he came. but it would not always be immediately apparent,  because that god damn, little, elfin bastard would hide my presents. that's right he hid my presents. he seemed to be saying, all right little missy i brought you that farm-set but you're going to have to hunt for it. some years it wasn't too difficult - the aforementioned farm set was in the hall closet under the extra tea bags. the dawn dolls in the spinner of the hover washing machine. but really, my giant barbie head with the silken hair you could style, was in fact in the trunk of the car. i nearly come undone with that one. i feel santa was truly being pissy that year.

so, whatever your motivations for this holiday season might be, i hope you have a good one
bev

63 comments:

  1. My dearest friend, all I can say is your Mother (I mean Santa) was pure evil! Hiding gifts? Holy cow, that's like the WORST thing to do to a kid! *thereputic hugs*
    Maybe I got lucky, since my Mom (I mean Santa) didn't give a crap what I did as long as I didn't do it in the same room where she was and no one else's Mom called her to complain about it. (Yep, my Mom and Santa simply fostered sneaky tendancies!)
    Happy Holidays to you sweetie! And I hope that dude with the white beard repays you generously for all the love and laughter you spread! *hugs*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. chris, why do you keep calling my mom santa? are you trying to tell me something?
      thank you and i wish you lots of the same. xx

      Delete
  2. I love this post. Your village sounds very cute growing up. I love the Christmas spirit. How mean of mommy to hide presents, lol. Little devil you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi jennifer. it was a lovely place to be, especially during the christmas season. thanks for visiting and commenting.

      Delete
  3. I remember the year when I was a kid that "peter heaters" were all the crafting rage in our little one-horse prairie town. The knitting needles simply flew!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dear debra, thank god someone else remembers the pecker warmers. do you think they are uniquely canadian? maybe we should bring them back and sell them at the farmer's market. thanks for commenting.

      Delete
  4. I also had a Dawn doll (plus Angie and Glori! But I didn't want Dale, "the black one"; my childhood racism now shames me) and a giant blonde head for hair-styling (mine was called Juliet rather than Barbie - same idea, though, and likely the same realization that that blonde hair? It ain't growing back). You are such a witty writer - I am so happy to have found your blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello lady chardonnay, i'm so pleased to have titled people come to call. i had all the dawn dolls but i didn't remember their names until you reminded me. did you have a chatty cathy? thanks for taking time to leave a comment. you have a cool blog too.

      Delete
  5. I always love your stories, Bev! Santa never hid my presents, thank goodness. But my husband and I are currently waging the war about whether or not Santa wraps presents. Santa never wrapped his presents to me; he always wrapped his presents to Carter. Santa seems to not only be a little bit inconsistent, but a little bit passive aggressive, wouldn't you say?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dear baby kate, santa does not wrap presents. i think carter's santa was just showing off.
      my santa was certainly passive agressive or maybe it was his only time to get a tiny bit of revenge.

      Delete
  6. ..."that god damn, little, elfin bastard"...

    I just snorted coffee all over my monitor, for real.

    Thanks for making Monday morning cheery & bright!

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.·´¸.·*´¨) ¸.·*¨)
    (¸.·´ (¸.·`¤... Jennifer
    http://jennsrandomscraps.blogspot.ca

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you're welcome jenn. there's nothing like a little coffee snorting to start off the week. i'm glad you took the time to visit and comment.

      Delete
  7. Dear Bev, this posting just enchanted me! It had me grinning widely and thinking what a feisty little girl you were. A child who knew her own mind and tried so hard to be good but that spark of artistry known as naughtiness just kept creeping back in. You were--and are--a delight.

    Your mom hiding the gifts! Wow! That's true torture.

    I used to know a little boy of three. Once we were sitting at the dining room table eating supper. It was dark outside and he was trying to be so good. But he accidentally knocked over his water glass and the water puddled the tablecloth. He grimaced and glanced furtively at the window. Then muttered, "Drat it! I bet those sneaky elves were watching." It took all I had in me to suppress my laughter! Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dearest dee, seeing santa on the tv every night was so wonderful and everyday for about 5 mins i thought i could be good. i would make so many promises about how i would never talk again.
      i glad you enjoyed the post and as always i so look forward to your comment.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. hello candy c, i glad you liked it. thanks for visiting and commenting

      Delete
  9. I like your post. :-)
    Aloha
    Thanks for following my blog
    Your new follower
    Joanna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joanna p-g, that's a cool name or is it your rating? thanks for following and commenting.

      Delete
    2. P-G is my initials of my surname. It is long. Pabel-Gruszczyńska :-)

      Delete
  10. Aloha! I enjoyed your Christmas memories! Thanks for asking the time to visit my blog and follow.
    Nancy - another new follower

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aloha nancy. thank you for visiting my blog and following.

      Delete
  11. Hi Bev! Thanks so much for visiting and following my blog! I love your blog and am following back. It has a vintage vibe which is nice :)

    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello paula miller, thank you for visiting and following. i have a vintage vibe because i'm kinda old.

      Delete
  12. Hello! Like Paula, I too love the vintage quality. This Jessica from www.bloggingwhilesingle. Thanks for stopping. New follower on deck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello jessica!. thanks for commenting and following and for liking old people.

      Delete
  13. Loved reading this! So funny and that goddamn elfin bastard saved all his pissyness for you lady. My presents were never hidden. ;-)
    Thank you for visiting my blog. ;-)
    Your newest follower,
    Jamie
    http://chatterblossom.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much jamie for saying such nice things. i appreciate it and i appreciate you visiting and following.

      Delete
  14. Ha! An entertaining post for sure :)). Thanks for stopping by and being my 300th (Yay!!)follower. Following you and looking forward to reading more from you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dear shawn. i'm glad i got to be your 300th follower! you have a very cool header on your blog. thank you taking the time to comment and follow.

      Delete
  15. Man, we're in some kind of weird, cosmic sync with nativity scenes. I was exceedingly reverent of them as a child, though. Seriously, way deeper than a 7 through 12-year-old should be.

    When Santa hid your gifts in car trunks and such, did he wrap them? Or did he just sort of chuck them in there and forget about them?

    The part after Christmas is so cool. I wish we did that. Here, the radio stations stop playing Christmas music the minute the gifts are opened and we're all supposed to be done with it, our holly and Glade-Christmas candles tossed out by 5 pm.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi sweetie, i don't think i ever be believed the christmas story was true. well true in the sense it had anything to do with me. i thought it was a story. now santa on the other hand was on tv.

      the hidden gifts were never wrapped but they were strategically positioned. i remember having a panic over the barbie head. my mother casually said "have you looked outside?"

      i loved going to see the tree and we still do it today. it is one tradition i have dragged from the east coast to the prairies. i think or neighbours and friends like it too or they have humoured me for all these years.

      Delete
  16. How fun. I should start that tradition here, except we'd be going to people's houses who got cars and iPads and cruises and flat-screen TVs. When they got to our house, they'd have to endure our songs, poems, and painted-grocery-bag wrapping that we give to one another.

    ReplyDelete
  17. very beautiful..
    http://www.blackinkpaperie.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ah yes, Christmas was wonderful back when we were kids. My mum used to set up the Christmas tree in my room while I was asleep and decorate it in the dark so it was a big surprise when i woke up! Lovely post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi emma, that is pretty cool. did she do it every year. thanks for the visiting and commenting.

      Delete
  19. Geez, you had to give up fire-setting? How did you manage? I'd have lost my mind. That alone would have had me running for the Pepto Bismol.

    I hope you're enjoying the holiday season as well!

    P.S. I was updating my blog and added you to my blogroll.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dearest june, yes it was hard to stop striking matches but i did for my lord and master santa
      thanks for putting on your list. i feel almost famous.

      Delete
  20. Thanks for following my blog :) I'm following back!

    twolovebirdswithoutanest.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hello danielle, thanks for following back.

      Delete
  21. Hey there, thanks for stopping by. This was an inspirational post. Yep, those little details can sometimes be all that matters. Especially when you are younger.

    On my blog this month I`m all also all into childhood ant customs, rituals...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dear sashkonela. that's quite the name. no one has ever called me inspirational before, so thanks for that. and thanks for following.

      Delete
  22. hii!!! :)
    Just happen to pass by your blog!!I love Christmas!!! beautiful trees everywhere..presents for people who care you..you have plenty time to go walks..!! -sorry for my english :P :P xixi- Just happen to pass by your blog
    If you want you can take a look on my blog!!I'm a new blogger!!!!! :) We can follow each other!!What do you think??? :) Just let me know your answer -where you follow me- on my blog and then i followed you back!!!

    http://colorfulblast.blogspot.gr/
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Colorfulblast/426217220765719?ref=hl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well hello miss i can't make those characters on my keyboard. i could possibly in love with you already. you and your sexy english. i'll be right over.

      Delete
  23. Have a happy holidays! Thanks for following my blog, I'm following back now(:

    Elle
    Lipstick & Lace

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi there!
    Following you back. Thanks for subscribing to my blog!

    Katie from the simple lane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi katie. thank you for commenting and following back

      Delete
  25. Hi Bev, thank you for following Carole's Chatter Blog Tips. I am already following you. Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jesus, sorry carole. but will you follow me anywhere

      Delete
  26. What great memories and I would love to be able to have my kids in that kind of home town.
    http://www.practicallyperfectprincess.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. greetings queen mom. it was pretty great. thanks for visiting and following.

      Delete
  27. Hi Bev! This is such a great post, Christmas time is my favorite time of year. Thank you so much for visiting my blog recently, I really appreciate it! I'm now following you on GFC and look forward to reading more :)

    Lauren x
    www.stylelixir.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi lauren! thank you for following and taking the time to comment.

      Delete
  28. I am part of a family were Christmas is a big thing always has been always will be I reckon. As a child Christmas Day involved getting up opening presents loading the car and going to my nans house for lunch...........I don't remember ever thinking about how good I had been or how bad.......hang on a minute I was never bad........I never jammed my sisters fingers in the car door, my bedroom door or the loungeroom door........lol Nor did I cane her with a cane just for the fun of it nope not me I didn't do those things.........lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. joanne you imp. your poor sister. i'm glad you have happy christmas memories and you visited. thanks, i look forward to your comments. xx

      Delete
  29. Such truth!! Thank you!
    Now following you blog via GFC. Love reading!

    Xo
    Erin

    sweetnessitself.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. It seems really fun celebrating Christmas as a community. :) In our family too when we were growing up, it's more of the gifts rather than celebrating a festive occasion with the family. But now that we all grew up and live in different places, that's when we learned how to value time with each other.
    by the way,wishing you a very wonderful holiday! :)

    looking forward to reading more of your posts.following you back via GFC!


    hugs,
    Meg

    ReplyDelete
  31. Oh my goodness! Visiting from friendly Friday. I am going to have to add your page to my bloglovin feed. This is hilarious. I didn't used to be a talker as a kid, but these days it seems to be impossible to keep these opinions and thoughts contained. And why is everyone so dang offended by everything. Quit being so touchy people. If I didn't specify your name I quite possibly wasn't saying anything bad about you.

    ReplyDelete
  32. OMG BEV, You are so very funny, I nearly peed my pants catching up with your blog. I am going tune in at least once a week. Hopefully you will be inspired to write...Can't wait for the next one.

    Joyce

    ReplyDelete