It happened about a week ago at the Westgate Mall in Amarillo, Texas (I've been there a few times).
Children were waiting in line with their parents to see Santa Claus - or a reasonable Claus facsimile. Suddenly the innocuous moment was rudely interrupted by a guy named David Grisham - an evangelical street preacher from Alaska.
Grisham began loudly proclaiming to the children that Santa Claus wasn't real and their parents were lying to them. There is no such thing as flying reindeer, there's no toy workshop with elves at the North Pole.
It was a sober moment for the stunned kids and a rather embarrassing one for their now-angry parents.
Grisham was right, of course - he was spewing the truth. But perhaps his method of conveying the fact was thoughtless and crude.
The curious can find a video of Grisham and his dire Santa message at this link:
If the link doesn't work, just go to YouTube and type in a search for David Grisham.
Okay, I can't hide my real feelings. The guy is an annoying nut case - - but I admire his guts and think the whole incident is hilarious.
I was an extremely innocent and gullible child. I fully believed everything I was told - - and would have probably still believed in Santa when I was forty, had the truth not been revealed to me when I was six.
We had recently moved to California and I got a Schwinn bike for Christmas. My Mom revealed the Santa lie to me and I (miraculously) wasn't phased or shocked in the least. I said to my father "Thanks for the bike, Dad."
End of the Santa myth.
Now, a thousand years later, I have no sentimental feelings towards the Faux Claus Connection. It's ridiculous to lie to children about a fraudulent Santa, no matter how noble the intention. Christmas is a pagan holiday and a insanely commercialized annoyance. Celebrate it in your own way - if you must - but don't force-feed it to the unwilling.
Am I a Scrooge or a Grinch? Hell, yea.
What I like most about the holiday season is the festivity of it all - - the beautiful decorations, the fantastic food, the magical wintery ambiance, the feeling (even though it's completely false) of peace and goodwill.
I'll end this dismal epistle with some photos that I post every year. Most of you have seen them - so just pretend that you haven't. I have other photos, of course, but I don't feel like digging them out of the cobwebs and scanning them.
My first Christmas. Actually, it was technically my second Christmas. I would have been just a year old (I was born on December 13th)
The house where we lived during my first Christmas. My father took this photo on Christmas Eve.
That winter coat amazes me. Kinda looks like a straight jacket. Notice the matching hat. Clueless about my age. Maybe four? I was a tall kid.
Again, not sure of my age. Possibly just turned four?? I look a bit cranky.