You know those moments in your childhood where something happens and it changes your worldview and wrecks your psyche just a smidge, and for the rest of your life that thing is now a part of you?
I had one of those moments when I was a child. And it was all because Santa ruined EVERYTHING!!!
When I was a wee little child, I heard this song about Santa Claus doing vile things to my mother. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? The one where he and the woman who gave me life are supposedly macking in the living room? It is the Christmas musical equivalent of a “your mom” joke, except nobody is actually laughing, because Santa Claus is defiling your mother.
Yes, the festive old nightmare tune of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.” And it ruined my sweet little life.
See, I believe in things either 100% or not at all. Like how I know without a doubt that aliens are fake, but I am utterly convinced that the Lochness Monster is real.
And so I believed with all my heart that Santa was real. Because I was adorably gullible and cutely naive and also…
So when I heard this travesty of a song, it never once (not even for a second) occurred to me that the man in this Santa suit was my father. Because (a) Santa would never stand for such fraud, and (b) what kind of crazy lavish, well rested life were these singing people leading where an actual costume was being used in the middle of the night to lay out the presents with a smile and jolly merriment? Like for real, let’s not pretend that it’s anything other than a parent waking up to an alarm in the middle of the night and cursing the fact that they have to get up and go move the presents, then stumbling through the house in an open bathrobe with a cigarette dangling from their mouth as they stub their toe in the dark.
So this song was so heartbreaking for me as a true believer. My wee little child mind was so full of questions: Why was Santa touring the world busting up marriages and wrecking homes? Why were so many mom’s falling for this gambit? What must poor Mrs. Claus be thinking? What was the prenup situation in the Claus household? Was this why some kids got way better presents than others? Like, was this why that kid I hated down the street got a trampoline and a Barbie jeep and a robot butler, while I got a teddy bear? My presents were fiscally appropriate, because my mother was also appropriate! (Good for you, Peggy Lee! You pillar of morality in this den of Christmas debauchery!!!)
Soooooo, yeah………. Maybe if your kids deeply and genuinely believe in Santa, then you should just skip this song all together. Because it will wreck their little brains. Also, DON’T TOUCH MY MOM, SANTA! You dirty old man.