Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Stories

Do you remember when you found out the truth about Santa Claus?

I honestly don't. I do remember, however, that I didn't let on that I found out for a year or two because I wanted that extra present. :P Sneaky, I know.

It's like the biggest but also the most well-meaning hoax in the world, Santa Claus. (If you're one of those crazy folks who argue that he's a satanic figure, blah, blah, blah, SCREW OFF GO AWAY and read something else!) Finding out about him though, seems to be a symbol of a loss of innocence, or an awakening of logic, depending on how you describe your glass.

I personally hate it when people don't play along (like one of my uncles, who very seriously broke the news to my cousin when she was in grade one) because I think children lose their innocence and become alarmingly cynical too soon these days, and particularly because their children tend to ruin it for everyone else's kids on the playground. Also, it's because I really like the idea that it's a big game that everyone plays together all over the world, that unites all of us, even though there are different interpretations in different countries.

A couple weeks ago, my sweet friend, Dutchman, enlightened me about Dutch Santa Claus (or, rather, Sinterklaas). He said that in North Holland, where he's from, children are told that Santa lives in Madrid. He travels on a steamboat from Spain to their country and then he gets on rooftops (to access chimneys, you know) with the help of his horse. I think it's much more reasonable for every country to have their own Santa, don't you?

Anyway, Dutch children put their shoes in front of the fireplace and Dutch Santa will put a small gift in them, like a bag of chocolates or some other treats - the Dutch aren't as materialistic as we North Americans are, you know. :P If they've been bad, however, they will only get a bundle of sticks. The horse helps Santa climb onto rooftops, so to award/attract him, children will leave "horse food" (like carrots or some other veggies) in their shoes for him. Oh, and their Santa is also not obese - more proof that he's not the same guy as his North American counterpart!

I asked Dutchman how and when he found out about Santa, and he said he was about seven or so. He said that he noticed that the food he left out for Santa's horse ended up back in his fridge the next day, so he put two and two together. So clever, right?

And you, how and when did you discover the truth about Santa? If you didn't grow up in North America, what were you told about him?

P.S. Happy Holidays!!! XOXOXO

1 comment:

Sabrina said...

I used to argue with other kids that he WAS real even though they told me they saw their parents putting the presents under the tree. At the same time I could be skeptical because I used to compare my parents' handwriting with "Santa's".

I found out/admitted that he wasn't real when I was nine, in grade four. Been sleeping in for Christmas every year since!