Sunday, December 13, 2009

Santa's on MY naughty list

Had two stories of Santas being naughty this week. One from a friend, and one that I experienced w/ my daughter. The first one is simple: my friend in Iowa saw Santa taking a smoke break in plain view of everyone (at Jolly Holiday Lights for ye DSM-dwellers).  My daughter, who is 9, and I went and saw Santa in this little plywood cabin yesterday at the public library in Harrisonburg. Breaking Santa protocol, Santa asked my daughter what she wanted to be when she grew up. Being a good sport, she told him she wanted to be a teacher.

Santa then proceeded to criticize this career move because teachers "don't make very much money." So he asked her again. Still being a good sport, she suggested a desire to perhaps be an artist. Santa grumbled and suggested she come up with "something better," suggesting being a scientist because they make a lot of money (itself a dubious claim).

As someone who recently left a relatively lucrative career in Information Technology to go to grad school and study theology and peacebulding, I was aghast at the nerve of this guy in the Santa suit, but was polite while we were in his presence. As soon as we were in the car, though, we had a discussion about why that encounter was a load of crap. She agreed, even commenting later in the day that she really didn't like that Santa.  I assured her that despite what Santa said, she could choose to be whatever the heck her heart, spirit, and mind are telling her to become. A teacher, or an artist, or an art teacher, or a teacher who is artistic, or whatever. Mid-stream changes are okay, too.

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