Sunday, December 19, 2010

Santa Land Diaries

Deb and Lee with Santa, 1970-1975. I look happy, but really, my stomach was in knots each time. I wasn't scared of Santa, but crazily self-conscious. I vividly remember standing in line at Macy's in Smithhaven Mall, on that black-and-white chevron pathway they had, with my heart pounding. What would Santa think of me? Would I remember what to say to him? Was I dressed appropriately? Would he like me?

I used to think I was the only kid who felt this way, but then I read this in David Sedaris' hysterical "Santa Land Diaries" (Holidays on Ice) about his experiences as a Santa's Elf at Macy's:

Some of these children, they get nervous just before going in to visit Santa. They pace and wring their hands and stare at the floor. They act like they’re going in for a job interview. I say “Don’t worry, Santa’s not going to judge you. He’s very relaxed about that sort of thing. He used to be judgmental but people gave him a hard time about it so he stopped. Trust me, you have nothing to worry about.”