Torn Between Two Santas
My husband thinks he is Santa Claus.
He thinks so through the whole Christmas season. Now, please don’t ask why; no one quite knows the reason. It could be that his job is too stressful. Or it could be, perhaps, that his problems are mental. But I think that the most likely reason of all… may be that his need for attention’s not small.
But, whatever the reason, his job or his head, he spends every Christmas as the big man in red.
All rhyming and reason aside . . .
My husband really thinks he is Santa Claus.
With the coming of the Christmas season, he lets his beard grow and replaces his belt with a pair of red suspenders. He wears little, rectangular reading glasses perched on the tip of his nose. He sticks a pair of flannel antlers on a miniature horse, hooks the horse to a goat cart he made for one of our kids and rides down the road in his miniature, fake sleigh with one tiny, wannabe reindeer.
Although I made no vow to love, honor or pretend things with a crazed Christmas fanatic, I try to be a good wife, even in this. I bought my husband his own Santa suit. I keep the kitchen stocked with milk and cookies. And I let him use my hairbrush to fluff out his beard.
I do admit that when dressed in his suit, with his eyes twinkling and his smile very merry, my husband makes a nice looking Santa. I had never known one better . . . until a few weeks ago.
I was standing in the children’s section of the local library, surrounded by Christmas books and stories, with carols playing softly in the air, when I heard a resounding, “Ho Ho Ho”. Warmed by the deep chuckle that followed, I turned.
And there he stood.
He was the best Santa I have ever seen.
He was dressed in the fur of a Super Deluxe Santa Suit, the kind with a long, Old-World jacket that gives its Santa a splash of class. His beard had not been brushed out into a nest for small vermin. It was well kept and neatly combed and I could find no sign of his breakfast clinging to any part of it. He was bright and cheerful, a rather jolly man. And I smiled when I saw him . . . in spite of the fact that I had another Santa rocking himself to sleep in the chair around my Christmas tree.
He spent time with every child, holding them in his lap and listening intently to each of their Christmas wishes. Then he turned invitingly to me.
I knew it was wrong. I should have firmly said, “No”.
But he was insistent and I couldn’t turn him down.
So, I did it.
There in the library, with my grandchildren and all the librarians watching, I cheated on my husband.
I sat on another Santa’s knee.