It’s a three year old tradition in the Weber household. We gather around the egg nog, hang our stockings with care, turn down the lights, and surf again to our favorite Christmas website: Santa Claus Scaring Little Kids!
It’s a collection of 150+ pictures of kids who want to be anywhere but on Santa’s lap. “Mommy!, Mommy!” you can hear them crying in terror. The men behind the hot, scratchy beards usually look equally dismayed, hung over, or- occasionally- outright evil. The photographer, wanting to see the line of kids behind her go away so she can finally sit down or go have a cigarette or go home, takes the shot as quickly as possible, with none of the finesse of a Kmart or Olan Mills factory photographer who is usually able to eke out at least a passive look of indifference from most children, who would rather be anywhere else but sitting still in full view of the toy department or food court.
The faux Santa in this picture is a good one. Notice the jocularity and kindness with which he disguises the iron grip of “Sit the hell still!” behind what appears to be gentleness. Notice the practiced skill he employs of wedging the child between his knee and his hand with seeming goodwill.
Now this guy gives credence to those who equate Santa with Satan! I wouldn’t have allowed my daughters to live in the same town as this guy, let alone get up in his lap. Despite their seemingly calm appearance here, don’t you just know that “something about Santa” would scar their memories of Christmas for years to come?
“Please, Mommy, make Santa stop breathing on me!”
For Billy and Sally, it was a joyous Christmas. For Bobby, it was a door opening into the Dark Side.
Christmas, 1965. Sister begins a lifetime of sneering hostility toward Mom, men, and everything about the patriarchal, materialistic, sexist, and bourgeois society into which she didn’t ask to be born. Brother becomes catatonic.
And, one more. This is the guy who will be in your house on Christmas Eve- the one that the cookies and milk have been prepared for. Pick up some pepper spray on the way home tonight.