Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tis the Season...

Remember that list about the things they don't teach you in library school? Well, I have another item to add to the list. They do not teach you how to talk to kids about Santa.

When I came back to work on Monday, there was a big ol' box on my desk, decorated in Christmas wrapping paper, where kids can drop off their letters to Santa. They're given to a group of women in town who will write back to the kids as Santa. According to the other staff members, this is tradition in town and it usually goes over pretty well. What they failed to tell me was that I would be fielding potentially difficult questions like: "How are they going to get to Santa?" "I already sent my letter to Santa... if I send him more than one, will he get confused?" "Does this go to the fake Santa or the real Santa?" "Miss Katie, do you believe in Santa?"

These questions are causing me a great amount of stress and angst. I don't like answering these questions and I don't know how I'm supposed to answer these questions.

I believed in Jolly Old St. Nick for way longer than societally acceptable. I was an only child, my parents believed it was important for children to believe and they took great lengths to ensure that I would never have any doubts. These lengths included having Santa come while we were at church, using different wrapping paper, making our backyard neighbor dude write the "To Katie, From Santa" slips, and finally having same backyard neighbor dude's wife come over, eat some of the cookies, let the dog out of its crate, open the fireplace doors and put a little bit of cotton ball (i.e. santa's trim!) fuzz on the fireplace door handles. How could I not believe? But once I figured it out (or rather, I started doubting Santa, I figured out that the tooth fairy's dollar bills smelled like my dad's wallet and my parents gave up on all of it), I didn't have to worry about it anymore. I didn't have any little siblings and my little cousins never tried engage me in a Q&A about Santa. This is new territory.

After dealing with three days of this madness, I'm trying my damnedest to just be an overbeliever of Santa and sound as earnest as possible. Also, I've decided that Santa uses the postal service and fake Santas deliver the message to real Santa. Any additional advice?

4 Comments:

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous alabamian librarian said...

I too was an only child and believed WAYYY longer than all of my friends. As a mom myself now (with a very curious 5 and 6 year old) I have come up with some very unique answers to thier questions. The post office does indeed send the letters straight to the north pole via special air delivery. (My children INSIST they CAN NOT write Santa however because "The Polar Express" movie said not to!). The fake Santas are at malls and parties because Santa can not be everywhere at once. The "helpers" give all of the messages to Santa and they have perfect memories (and some even have recorders built into thier Santa suits in case they forget). You never know when the real Santa will show up at a mall/etc. on a surprise visit. On a personal note, at Christmas time we turn on the "Santa Speaker" in my van (the holder for the sunglasses) and I can speak directly to Santa. We also have a phone in a fallway that is no longer usable that becomes the "Santa Phone." When I taught daycare there was a "Santa Speaker" in the ceiling (the smoke detector) and it had a "built in video camera to see when you were being naughty or nice." Motion sensors can also be turned into "Santa Speakers."

 
At 3:38 PM, Blogger Librarian Girl said...

The whole Santa thing is totally unsettling to me. I am a terrible liar, at all times, in all situations. Horrible. So I would suck at what you have to do...

 
At 7:13 AM, Blogger Alissa said...

Thank heavens teenagers don't believe in Santa and I can avoid this all together.... although, he still makes an appearance at my house every year. What I'm curious about is what on earth these women write back about... how do they know if the kid got what he asked for for Christmas unless they contact every parent? CRAZY!

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger Martha said...

Wow. See, when I think about being a children's librarian, there are so many things I would never think about. Like what the hell you're supposed to say about Santa!

I also believed way longer than socially acceptable. :)

 

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