Thursday, December 10, 2015

28 Xmas Stories, 13: That's not the kind of thing elves would make.

This Is Not A Xmas Story.

This is not a Xmas story. In this story, no little boy writes a letter to Santa Claus, who does not exist and who certainly does not live at the North Pole.  That letter, which never existed, did not ask Santa, ditto, for a new bike for Xmas, and also to help the boy’s dad find a new job so he (the dad) would be happy again, which would make him (the boy) happy as well. 

Again: that letter was not written and never asked for those things, which the boy wouldn’t have asked Santa Claus (remember: NOT REAL) for, in any event.

The letter wasn’t left on the boy’s desk, not yet mailed, but it wasn’t not left there only because the boy was not certain whether Santa Claus was real or not. The boy’s belief in Santa Claus never wavered, because the boy had no belief in a Santa Claus who never existed and who would have been powerless to get the boy’s dad a new job, anyway: that’s not the kind of thing elves (which needless to say ALSO are nonexistent) would make.

Also: who asks for a bike in the middle of winter? Nobody, that’s who, because the boy didn’t ask for that in the letter he never wrote that he then never dithered about whether to send to Santa Claus because Santa Claus didn’t exist.

Since the letter never was written and never left on the boy’s desk (he didn’t even own a desk), the boy’s mother couldn’t have found the letter laying there, next to an envelope the boy never got from his teacher and didn’t bring, specifically so he could never address it to “Santa Claus, c/o The North Pole.” He certainly didn’t put postage on that envelope which obviously is some sort of figment of your imagination, the result of an undigested bit of beef, or a blot of mustard. Because he never did that, the boy’s mother never was able to pick up this hypothetical letter and its equally imaginary envelope, never read it first with a twinkle in her eye and then with a sadder expression as it went on. She never then took it to the boy’s father, who wouldn’t have just come in from another job interview and obviously would not have stood in the front hallway, snow dripping off his dress shoes, reading the letter and feeling miserable. Just as equally, the two wouldn’t over the next few days expectantly look at the old avocado-colored phone on the kitchen counter – neither avocados nor phones being things that are, you understand, which is why they didn’t look at such a phone – jumping every time it (didn’t) ring, leaping to get it in case there was good news just in time for Xmas.

The boy’s mother certainly wouldn’t have, in some sort of fit of optimism or compassion or merely because it was something to do, have put the letter into the envelope and then put the whole shebang into the mailbox. Keep in mind: There was no letter, and no Santa Claus to receive it.
That’s why, on Xmas Eve, neither the boy nor his mother and father lay awake, clenching their eyes against their excitement, hoping to fall asleep despite the way their body buzzed with the electric possibility of presents the next morning: all of them knew that there were no presents under the tree already, and there would be no presents under the tree the next morning.  Since the boy had never written the letter to Santa and Santa had never lived in a candy-cane house in the frozen northlands to receive it, and since the world DOES NOT WORK THIS WAY, I must repeat, DOES NOT WORK THIS WAY, there would be (everyone knew, except probably you because I can tell you are not getting the message, here) no surprises waiting for them on Xmas Day.

That is why, too, all three of them slept in on Xmas Day, nobody getting up at the crack of dawn and racing downstairs to see only crumbs and an empty glass where the night before had been cookies and milk. There were no cookies to spare, and none of them would waste a perfectly good glass of milk like that. When they did all get up and go to the living room, the boy did not rub his sleepy eyes in wonderment at the shiny new bike under the tree.  The dad and mom did not hug each other in amazed joy that such a miracle could have happened. The phone did not suddenly ring out like the bells that heralded the birth of Jesus, with a job offer on the other end of the line.



All that happened was: On Xmas Day, the family woke up around 10 a.m. The mom made pancakes. Everyone liked pancakes, and they were inexpensive. The boy ate five of them. Pretty big ones, too. It was Xmas, so nobody told him to ease up. On Xmas, you can eat as many pancakes as you want. At least that much is true. Then, since there was snow on the ground – it had snowed the night before, it sometimes snows on Xmas Eve, at least that much is true, too, in all this Xmas blah-de-blah you all are always going on about – the dad and the boy went outside and built a snowman. They had a snowball fight.  They came back inside, noses red and cheeks rosy and fingers a bit numb, to drink hot chocolate and watch a movie together. It was one of those sci-fi ones, I can’t tell them apart.  Later on that night, the whole family played Monopoly and the mom and dad tried to let the boy win. He built hotels on Marvin Gardens but got tired before the game ended.  His dad tucked him in. They read a Spider-Man comic together until he fell asleep.

That was it.  That was their day. It was nothing special, except to them. They enjoyed that day a lot.

PS two weeks later the dad got a job and with his first paycheck he bought that bike. I told you this wasn’t a Xmas story.

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