Do you know what it’s like to go into a room and suddenly wonder what you went in there to get or to do? Senior citizens do it all the time. Santa does. He’s a senior citizen, been a member of AARP since 1890. He jumps down the chimney, finds himself in a living room, and asks, “Why on earth did I come in here?”
But then he remembers and says, “Dadgum it! I left my sack of toys in the sleigh!” (Again, do you ever do anything like that?) And so he has to lay his finger aside his nose and go back up on the roof to fetch the toys that he forgot to bring down the chimney in the first place. And he’s upset with his jolly old self because his nose is battery operated. Every few hundred chimneys he has to replace the batteries or he’ll be stranded in little Timmy’s living room.
And almost every year he forgets to bring backup batteries. Oh, there are generally a couple of leftovers from last Christmas, but not nearly enough to get him through the night. So he has to fly back to the North Pole and get batteries. (Don’t you hate driving back home to retrieve what you forgot?) Not only does this mean he will be way behind on his rounds, but the reindeer get time-and-a-half for overtime.
So, Santa knows why Christmas gets more expensive every year and why he’s getting more hate mail than back in the 1950s. People don’t like him being so late that he comes down the chimney for Christmas dinner, especially after the kids complained all morning about having no presents beneath the tree. In fact, many kids may not even have trees because of the growing Christmas tree shortage. Their parents get to the lot too late, but guess who gets the blame? Santa, even though it’s not his fault.
And do you know what it’s like to misplace your car keys? Santa Claus does. That’s why he’s late going down the chimney and not remembering why he’s in the living room in the first place. His sleigh has electric ignition. Doesn’t start by magic. Won’t budge an inch until he turns the key, which he usually keeps on one of the points of Dancer’s antlers.
Every year Dancer says Santa must have missed when he tossed it at his antlers upon the sleigh’s return from Santa’s rounds last year. Got lost in a snow bank. Santa claims he didn’t miss. Says that Dancer has had another antler trim – Dancer’s a veteran and likes his antlers short-cropped – and lost the key at the antler stylist’s.
It’s a terrible argument year after year. Santa blames Dancer for losing the sleigh keys, and Dancer blames Santa. They call each other horrible names – “Jelly Belly” and “Knuckle Head” are season favorites. And they don’t get anywhere until Mrs. Claus finds the key in Santa’s last-year’s pants pocket. (She was going to let them out to match his expanding girth, but once again he’s almost worn a hole in the seat of them. The “Shiney hiney” effect, she calls it. Bought him a new pair online. Kept the old pair to display in the museum.) Argument over, Santa starts the sleigh and away the reindeer fly, Dancer’s shorn head freezing.
Do you also know what it’s like to overlook items on your To-Do list? Actually, you have a written To-do list. It’s not just in your mind. Everything is written down in proper order. You simply didn’t notice an item or two while doing your errands. Didn’t catch your eye, and you returned home with everything for the barbecue but the hamburger and the buns.
Well, Santa can claim that his eyesight isn’t what it once was. It isn’t. But not only does he totally forget several million kids, he also gets portions of his “Naughty” list mixed up with his “Nice” list. And don’t you hate it when that happens? Santa does. He’d retire, but all these years he’s never had a pension, and his social security won’t even cover an igloo rental in Antarctic City.
The point of all this. If your Christmas doesn’t go as you planned, join the club. You’ll soon enough misplace the memory.