Bring me de head of Santa Clausio

When I was younger, my father worked as a port controller in Jedda. He stayed there some 9 months of the year some times and we didnt get to see him alot. My mother would occasionally go to visit him out there and I would be carted off to the next door neighbours for a week.

This one particular year around christmas, both my mother and father came home with big smiles and I had hoped lots of presents. Both my brother and I were given a variety of different exotic gifts and it was great. Christmas day however held one big surprise for us both. My mother had bought a centrepiece for the dinner table.

The table was filled with turkey and pigs in blankes and yorkshire puds and peas and sprouts and crackers and everything else you would expect to see, but this year instead of the normal christmas candles was a red sparkly box that we were not allowed to touch.

As my brother and I got more and more excited we sat at the table waiting for our parents and wondering what could be in it, perhaps a big bowl of sweets, or a chocolate fountain. We joked about taking a peek, but didnt want a surprise.

Eventually it was time to open the box, my mother opened the flip top lid, and from its hair she produced a life size plastic head of Santa Claus.

Now I know that the arabs arent very christmasy and so therefore may look down on our ridiculous traditionalists, but dismembering the dude in the red suit seemed a little perverse. I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but come on now. There was however worse to come.

Withing seconds of our stunned silence, my mother had plugged it in to the mains and a lightbulb lit within his skull like the alien crystal skulls of an indi movie, and the tune of jingle bells resonated like a hundred learner violinists around the room. Santas beard started to mechanically move, his fluffy white beard swishing in the christmas gravy as the words echoed into my brain forever.

The piece de resistance, however came after the second verse when as most musical people know there is room for an instrumental break. In this case the instruental break was joined by Santas head turning 360 degrees like in the exorcist. Some may suggest that this quasi-demonic possesion of santas cabesa is in the spirit of christmas bringing joy and happiness. I however consider it a warning as to the prostitution of christmas, and the spinning of the head is merely to ensure that everyone in that room knew it, eye to eye.

The reason I mention this is because I would like to take a moment to talk about one of my customers. He is a talented musician in a well recognised local band, who has spent this chrismas dressed up as Santa in a local restaurant singing christmas songs and carols. Each day I picked him up I thought about what he refered to prostituting his talent for a few quick bucks. His fine spirits over the unabashed performing monkiness of his christmas gig was clearly because of the ridiculously vast sum of money they paid him to do it. And good on him, we all do what we can to get by.

It is odd though that christmas brings this out in us. That for a few short weeks we become totally obsessed with otherwise meaningless aspects of our society. When do we ever eat so many sprouts and why would we when they taste like they’ve been in your grans armpits for the last 3 years? What drives us to buy a plastic tree and adorn it for a few weeks, and why do we insist on taking it down before a certain date in case we suffer ‘bad luck’? Why do we give cards saying nothing more than ‘To Sue… From Peter’ when we just spent a good 20 minutes talking to them.

Despite all this, I too have fallen in with the christmas crowd as i always do each year. with cards and presents bought and wrapped. And with a christmas floppy hat worn in my little cab.

Merry christmas everyone

~ by eggplantinspace on December 20, 2008.

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