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Today in My History

2000:   A Ticklish Situation
2001:  It's a Dirty Job, but Someone Has to Do It
2002:  Making a List, Checking It Twice
2003:  Rake's Progress
2004:  The Heart of Christmas
2005:  So Close

2006 Like a Robot
2007: Ding Ding, Sniff, Sniff
2008: Cough, Cough
2009: Status Updates
2010: Life with Puppies
2011: Why I'm a Lousy Writer
2012: Whew...Thank Goodness  THAT's Done
2013:  Holly in My Heart
2015  Men with Purses
2016: Forty Nutcrackers
2017: Cromulent Quotidianity
2018: It's Over

Theater Reviews
Updated 12/1
Coney Island Christmas

Books Read in 2019
 Updated 11/9
"The Elephant in my Kitchen"

Our Christmas Letter

Personal Home Page

My family

Books Read in 2019
Books Read in 2018

Books Read in 2017
Books Read in 2016
Books Read in 2015
Books Read in 2014
Books Read in 2013

Books Read in 2012
Books Read in 2011
Books Read in 2010

updated 7/16

(you know how to fix it)

Some Background Links:
The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers
The story of Delicate Pooh
The story of the Pi´┐Żata Group
Pumpkin pies
Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

mail to Walt / mail to Bev  


December 5, 2019

Loving parents become downright cruel at Christmas time.  We take our children and plop them in the lap of some weirdly dressed stranger and then expect them to smile for a photo.

Generation after generation, we take our babies and scare them with this big bearded guy.  Lacie wasn't any happier to meet Santa than Jeri was years before.

The first time I saw David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries I loved this part, which I wrote about in my review:  We get a tour of Santa's Village, including "vomit corner," and learn about high tech parents who force their kids to sit on Santa's lap to be photographed, even if they're screaming in fright. "It's not about the child or Santa or Christmas or anything but the parents' idea of a world they cannot make work for them."

I laughed at "vomit corner" because I don't remember actually vomiting, but remember being nervous enough, knowing Santa was ahead, to want to vomit!

When I was young, Santaland was on the top floor of Macy*s in San Francisco.  And once you confided all your wishes to the big man, you went out the back door to the famous "roof rides," which we looked forward to each year.  Best of the roof rides was the big ferris wheel which wasn't particularly big itself, but when you got to the top and looked down, you weren't looking at the roof, but at the street, three or four floors below. 

Taking the kids to visit Santa gets easier when the kids get older, because you don't have to lie and tell them about "Santa's helpers" and why there are Santas everywhere.  They know the truth and enjoy the fun of just sitting on Santa's lap.  Char and I took our kids to visit Santa together.

Jenny, Dana, Jeri - 1975

Of course, the easiest Santa is a home-grown one that the kids understand is not scary.

I can't remember why Walt was dressed as Santa in 1971.  Later, in Davis, he dressed as Santa in 2009 to have photos taken with dogs at Petco.  Even dogs are nervous around Santa!



My sister and me
Macy*s, San Francisco

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