A friend and constant reader sent me a link to a web site that really struck a chord with me. Of course kids are scared of Santa Claus. I'm afraid of him now. The very idea of this bearded old coot sliding down our chimney and rooting around in our house while we are asleep gives me the willies just sitting here with the lights on. If he came through a window and he was homeless, he wouldn't make it past the end of the block - not in my neighborhood.
The lurking isn't the hardest thing to take, either. It might be all that manic laughter with little or no provocation. "What is so darn funny about a Hot Wheels Supercharger Set? How about a little more focused attention instead of that patronizing 'Ho, ho, ho' all the time." And since he knows when I am sleeping and knows when I am awake, why do I have to make this itemized list anyway? Shouldn't his borderline psychic powers reveal all of my wants and needs along with my sleep habits?
Combine this with the mystical way that he gets around, flying reindeer and squeezing his ample frame up and down smokestacks, and you've got one creepy dude. Essentially this is one great big red clown. Kids are terrified of clowns. That beard and those rosy cheeks are just like a big red nose and blue hair. In your wildest imaginings, did you really think that any five year old would want to sit on the lap of a fat guy they never met and ask them for free stuff? What about that whole "Don't Talk To Strangers" lecture? I know, I know - it's a treasured memory for parents that they can stick in the album right next to the photo they have of their child up to their third knuckle rooting around for booger nuggets. America's Most Humiliating Portraits - coming this year to ABC, right after Personal Hygiene With The Stars.
Give the kids a break. Take them to see Santa when they ask to go see Santa, and don't get me started about a giant hopping rodent leaving unfertilized multi-colored chicken embryos laying around.