My Santa Claus, Real-ly!

I love Christmas! For 25 years now I have hung stockings, decorated trees, made wreaths from leaves, bells with Styrofoam cups, and had cakes upon cakes – since that’s what you eat when Christ is born, or so I want to believe for my gastric merriment sake.


It’s a different matter that often socks in place of stockings and potted look-alikes (or those shimmery ones from China) rather than original Xmas trees were used. It’s also a different matter altogether that eating the cakes took precedence over getting the buntings up in time, maybe. Be that as it may, my Christmas has never lacked cheer or a stocking on Christmas eve. Because Santa Claus never forgets to drop by!

I am 30 years old and my son is a little over 2. Here is a picture of us from last Christmas, with both of us believing that Santa Claus is coming to town. I have decided to perpetuate this myth for as long as he starts to reason with me, and then reply to him with enough reasons as to why we will continue to believe that Santa is indeed real, just like I did with my husband 6 years ago. And why we will continue to hang our socks every 24th of December each passing year! My idea is this:

What dreams are made of – Children have a bottomless pitcher of imagination in them, ever-ready to believe that fairies dance under mushrooms at night, frogs turn into princes with a chaste (only) little kiss and witches have character reversals if shown a little TLC. They gobble up the fantastical with lip-smacking relish and often season it with their own twists to the tales. They believe in stories, learn to make them up and finally go to sleep in Noddy’s Toyland.

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Santa Claus is a way of feeding their imagination for flights beyond their known land into Neverland, perhaps. A jolly good fellow, who looks like their grandpa in red, brings presents like one, spreads laughter (albeit “driving” a different looking “car”) is perfectly cheery food for their fantasy world! And no, I will not call it lying to your children (Do you call referring to your whiskey as medicine to them the truth?). I will only call it a way of keeping their worlds happily unreal and cocooned from the real, which shall rear its big bad head sooner than later anyway!

Idea of giving, with a twist – Santa Claus with his big bag full of presents for children stands for the idea of bounteousness and whole-hearted giving. However, ‘You better watch out, you better not pout’ because he is ‘making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.’ The myth of Santa Claus carries within its folds the idea of good and bad behaviour – while the former is rewarded the latter is not.

You may say that kind of discriminatory attitude should have no place in what Christmas is all about, but then again, perhaps it’s Santa’s way of patting the backs of all those parents who raised a well-behaved child or a child for being good (both being a feat in themselves, if I may add). The hope of getting something out of Santa’s big bag is also an incentive for the tots to be good – whether 3, 13 or like me 30! Although, as far as I can think back, I have been naughty all three decades of my life, and yet not a Christmas has passed without dropping me a present. Perhaps, Santa needs technology for making and remembering his lists better. My guess is, he doesn’t want to!

A shared fortune Just like all other festivals, Christmas too is about a communal feeling. The myth of Santa Claus gets in another reason to feel one with your neighbour – that of a shared fortune waiting under the tree for you on Christmas morning. Whether with family or with friends, presents become a topic of merry exchange, just as they are shared motives for grown-ups going gift-hunting for you, and for their own selves too. Materialism? It’s Christmas, for Christ’s sake, and even the Grinch is never known to have used this word for it! And if this is perpetuating a materialistic attitude, then all carrots in all offices should end up as snowmen’s noses – leaving behind a stick-and-stick policy and dis-incentivised employees.

The hush-hush rush – And then of course, the clandestine aspect of it makes it all the more endearing. The secret shopping for what your child deserves best, the whispers between the parents, the tip-toeing at midnight, the bomb of the impending nearly exploding inside the children (and adults, alike). Such a sweet and simple way to make us grown-ups giggle like children and the children feel like adults-part-of-a-life-changing-mystery!

So there! Why I will always continue to believe in my Santa Claus, and will let others do so too. Who knows when we may create unforgettable memories for our son one day, if me and husband bungle like my parents did – with both putting gifts inside me and my brother’s socks separately, least realizing that the other parent had been the Santa already! That was a Ho-ho-ho Christmas, twice over. And as for your own present, do make sure your husband does not conveniently assume that the gift has to “fit” right into the stocking. I have got my share of bottle openers and paper weights. I’m looking for something bigger maybe, unless of course, it’s something precious in a little box that fits snugly inside the sock and smoothly on my finger!

I know, Christmas is many months away, but I’m keeping my Santa up-to-date as the chill sets in. And you should too!

Sakshi Nanda went from studying Literature to serving the print media and finally settling with two publishing houses who called her editor for a couple of hard-bounds, no more! She writes as a work-from-home mother to realize herself as well as to be read, both – with her 2-year-old boy and her sarkari babu beau as the greatest source of ideas and inspiration. She believes eating baby food is therapeutic and that the pen is man’s best invention, after diapers that is! Meet her at:

  • Sid Balachandran

    Another fantastic post Sakshi (I’m going to stop saying that – since that’s a given:)); Yep, Christmas is definitely a wonderful period and everything you said rings true. And yes, encouraging the spirit of christmas and the magic of Mr. Claus not only keeps the kids happy, it also helps us re-ignite the little bit of childishness that we have left (not me, I’ve not exactly grown up – psychologically speaking:) And since like me you seem pretty gaga over the festive season, at some point, do consider experiencing a typical “white” christmas (jf you haven’t already). Along with everything else you’ve mentioned, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

    • You already know what I think, @iwrotethose:disqus 😀

  • Rainbow Hues


    I believe in Santa as much as you do, lady and perhaps one day my little one will also discover that he’s not for ‘real’ but till then…who’s stopping the imagination bug to fly?

  • V ki Amma

    Oh I have such fond memories of Christmas! My cousins and I would go to the club every Christmas for the children’s party. Grandpa was a known member in the club and we kiddos considered ourselves beyond reach. We played a secret game of pulling down stars and balls from christmas trees. And our code was “star-bell-caught-caught”. At the end we landed up sorting our booties which we always returned on our way back home. But because grandpa was a known name, the club walas always gave it to us. 🙂 I have such fond memories of Christmas…really. And I too want V to grow up feeling the warmth of Christmas.

    • I wish your grandpa was my papa. He’s been on the Doon Club executive n number of times but never allowed the club walahs to let us take home the bells and stars we were lusting after. Of course, we did enjoy a few other privileges but all said and done – I would have liked the bells and stars better. 😛 Thanks for reading! 😀

  • Rajesh Thakkar

    Brilliant as always…I for one,would ensure that my wife doesn’t read this,lest she get the bright idea of a gift that smugly fits into the socks and then into her ring finger too..:-)

    • Thanks @rajeshthakkar:disqus. You are always too kind. I wish I could make sure your wife DOES read this. Really! 😀

  • sirisha achanta

    Wonderfully written! I believe that festivals are all about building traditions unique to your family and memories that would weave around them. I love Christmas too and love Diwali . I go frenzy for both these festivals and the child obviously benefits

    • Well said, @sirishaachanta:disqus. I have opened my doors to whichever I know enough about to celebrate meaningfully. I did it as a child, I do it as a parent to become a child again with my child. Yes, Diwali is round the corner. And it’s in the air already! 🙂 Thanks a lot for stopping by!

  • Diana Natasha Pinto

    I’ve got into the christmas mood already after reading this post. This post brought back old memories. I remember as children we would write letters to Santa and mention what gifts we wanted for Christmas. Our joys knew no bound when we received them. It was heaven.

    • Me too. I wrote it and now I can hardly wait. Been peeping at the box of decorations lying in the store room even since. I LOVE this festival. The visits to the church, the carol singing competitions, candles, just everything. Why, I was Santa last year and my husband became a reindeer. 😀 Can hardly wait, @diananatashapinto:disqus I remember writing letters and pinning them on the fridge since ma-pa said that’s where Santa will read them. 😛 Thanks a lot for reading!

  • nitika sipani

    Superrrr as usual… I too still hang da stockings hoping dat atleast for once Santa- da- hubby wud b generous enough n shower the gifts!!! ;-). Loved da post!! 🙂

  • purbaray

    For me the fun starts from Durga Puja and ends with Christmas. So much fun to be had, so many gifts to be exchanged, so much weight to put on…Yipeee!

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