Took the boy to see Santa tonight.
He reacted way better than last year, which was to say he didn't cry, have a freaker and try to stab Santa. He understands that there is a man in a suit, who doesn't look like anybody else he's ever seen, and we want him to sit in this guys lap and smile. No fucking way. He'll walk up, take the present, say thank you like he's been taught, and then he wants nothing to do with that guy.
What shocked me was when I asked him if he didn't like Santa. He said "That not Santa, Daddy, that man in suit." He said Santa was at the North Pole and that was just a "pretend Santa". This from the kid who still occasionally shits his pants? He can see through lies and subterfuge, but can't see fit to plant a coiler in the shitter?
What a crappy and thankless job that must be. If you aren't cheerful enough, people will get mad 'cause you are ruining it for the kids, yet if you are too enthusiastic, then you are probably a closet pedophile. And the kids, oh my lord the kids; some of the little buggers I saw tonight I wouldn't let in the front door of my house, forget about sitting on my lap. Fat, dirty, smelly, snotty, ugly, whiny, and spastic. It's like the seven dwarves of childhood trauma. I'd rather breast-feed a cheese shredder than deal with some of that crap.
Where do you go to get that job? What qualifications do you have to have? Does Worker's Compensation cover lap related accidents? Is there a test? There must be some sort of training program or minimum level of education needed, otherwise you'd see homeless people lining up for the job. Although the standards can't be too high, otherwise how to you explain the schmoes that do it in this town? I think the guy who was doing it tonight had lost a bet or something.
Yet some how the magic is still in the air. The blatant commercialism of Christmas has yet to stomp out the actual meaning of the season. Now if we could just remember what that was....