What’s Up With Santa?

Okay, I think Santa needs an intervention. He isn’t looking so hot these days. His suit is worn, his glasses are dirty and the twinkle has vanished from his eyes. I’ve passed him a few times in the mall. Each time, I couldn’t help but notice the old man in the regal chair wasn’t his usual merry self. The new mommy in me would love to have a picture of my daughter sitting on Jolly Ole Saint Nick’s knee. I just can’t bring myself to capture Santa on film this way. I know how I feel when someone takes a picture of me when I’m having ‘one of those days.’ Surely Santa feels the same. Besides, I have a hard time handing my daughter over for a cuddle when Santa’s appearance reminds me of someone I saw on America’s Most Wanted.

So what’s up with the old guy? Are our demands of him too high? Our lists too long? Are things not so good between him and the missus? Labor troubles with the elves? Is the mall pushing him over the edge? I can’t say it’s my favorite place to be. What does it take to wear a man like that down? He always used to have so much spunk and stamina. Where is that deep belly laugh we love so much?

What astonishes me is no one seems to be trying to figure out why he’s not his usual self. Shoppers breeze by while chatting on cell phones, yelling at kids and shuffling packages.  Sure we pass the forlorn looking stranger on the street without so much of a glance. We don’t know that person. We have no investment in their well being. Santa is a different story though. I mean, he’s been there for us for years. We’ve stressed over shopping for 20, while Santa has provided for millions and effortlessly delivered treasures and necessities. Now that he appears to be the one who is down and in need, we ignore and walk past.

Just as I think it’s important to get to the bottom of what’s going on with our favorite man in red, it’s also important to discover why it has become so easy to fail to see when another person may be struggling.  Perhaps our habit of shutting out the problems of strangers has now evolved into using blinders with those who are close to us.

One Response to “What’s Up With Santa?”

  1. mark says:

    In the movie “Elf”, Ed Asner made a great Santa Claus…twinkly eyes and everything…