Santa’s Eyes

I looked into Santa's eyes 
while he looked into my son's,
and,
the glimmer was different
than what I remember
when I was young.

In awe,
my son looked
at the red velveted man
that all money bearing parents rally behind
and
force the little ones to watch on screens
and
push the little ones to believe -
a myth of hope
and
goodwill to submerge ourselves into for not even a full month,
and,
in his seasonal exhaustion,
I watched Santa look back at my son,
me wishing,
hoping like a smooth talking false prophet in a rural baptist church
that he would not grow up
and
look back at this moment
and
think that his dad had brought him in vain
and
realize his tired father was merely passing down
a yuletide break from reality,
an essence that all of our parents were able
to hide behind
and
gather some type of endearing joy
after a year of surviving the harshness of life, work,
and
responsibilities.

Santa,
even if you are a lie,
when was the last time
someone asked you
what you
wanted for Christmas?

The people come to you,
Santa,
they flock to you like wild, migrating birds,
wanting to land and capture a generic picture of you
while they wear plastered smiles,
thick make up,
matching plaid,
blue jeans,
brown boots,
wet diapers,
germs,
and
cheap perfume,
and,
well,
we sit our trophies on your knee
for
just a couple of seconds, at most,
then post your frozen soul to our social media platforms
so others can judge whose Santa
was the best this year
and
they think if they show everyone that they saw you
and
hashtag it
then their holiday will finally be complete,
a lie exchanged for someone else's lie,
us ignoring the fact that by doing so
we let some of the magic slowly fade,
year after year,
when,
the real question we should be asking ourselves is,
the real question I ask you being -
“did they really see you, Santa?”

Whether your Santa had a fake white beard,
a wandering lazy eye,
a visible tattoo,
crooked teeth,
thin, generic velvet,
non prescription glasses,
a faded smile,
long nose hairs,
not so rosy cheeks,
the scent of off brand Stetson cologne and beef jerky,
or
a smoker’s chuckle -
did we really see you that day, Santa,
when we came for our physical proof
that we saw you
and
that you exist?

Did we?

We push away the thoughts of the future
when we know that we used to be
that two year old
who either welcomed Santa with looks of confusion
or
a strained smile
or
forced the bearded man into instant anxiety as we shrieked
and
cried at having to tell him in horror what we wanted him to bring us while we slept in our beds,
one eye open
and
one eye shut,
and
deep down inside
we know, one day, that the nostalgia
will slowly dissipate
when fiction becomes truth
and all the kids that sat on your lap
will sooner or later get more scars than gifts
and
you weren't there to protect them, Santa,
nor
were your reindeers,
and
then we have to remember that you used to be that kid too, Santa,
sitting on the knee of another Santa,
wanting to believe,
wanting to hold down the front line of imagination,
in a world that seeks to destroy our childlike wonder on a daily basis,
you giving us a reason to try
and
survive through another year of neglected blessings
that some of us choose not to be more aware of
because how can you be real
if all our wishes did not come true
like we thought they were supposed to.

Santa,
whether you are real or not,
which you are not,
when was the last time
someone asked you
what you wanted
for Christmas?

In the eyes of this year's Santa,
I saw it
and
he tried to mask it
but
it was there -
an exasperated look of
only getting this much attention
during one month of the year,
if even that long,
and
then
becoming nothing more
but
an afterthought
when the gifts had or had not been delivered
and
the wrapping paper has been ripped to shreds
and
the toys have been unboxed and played with,
and
you,
Santa,
the aged man of mysterious myth,
becomes, yet again, nothing more
but
a threat for parents who constantly say, “he’s watching you,”
and
we knowingly use you,
Santa,
as a gaslighting mechanism
because
who really wants coal in their stocking
except
the family that's freezing to death
while others get their game systems,
virtual reality goggles,
and
endless supply of peanut butter Reese Cups.

Santa,
my mom said when I stopped believing in you
is the day when you stop coming to see me
and,
whether I believe in the idea of you anymore or not,
which I do not,
I hope you do not take offense
because
I understand why you stopped coming to see me
and
I'm fine with it, now,
and
I understand your sleigh is tired of carrying the weight of the world in it
and
I don't blame you
for
wanting to isolate yourself
in the coldness of the North Pole
with your miniature, pointed eared friends
that adore you so much,
because why would you not want to decompress
away from the entitled greed of the world,
away from the people
who are so quick to forget
you after they are done using you
and
not ask you the main question at hand -
"what do you want for Christmas?"

Better yet,
“what do you need for Christmas?”

Santa, this year I want to give you my wish as a gift.
Even better,
I want to give everyone a wish that I will make for them considering it’s my wish and all…
-
my wish is that people look in the mirror
and
love the person they see
and
make their sad melancholy smiles happy again.

We used to be kids
just like the one you used to be,
Santa,
and
the twinkle that was in my son’s eyes when he looked at you,
it’s still in mine if I close them hard enough
and
go back to the days of my youth,
back when believing was so easy to do, regardless if the class idiot had already told me you were not real,
Santa,
and spoiled the secret for everyone else.

Again,
I close my eyes,
Santa,
and
go back to when my parents let you take the credit for their hard work.

I close my eyes,
Santa,
and
go back to when imagination was more real than reality.



I slowly open my eyes,
Santa,
and
realize I’m no longer the child
and
the roles have changed.



Your eyes,
Santa,
that’s where the story of our youth lives.



No matter how hard it may be to believe
or
if we even do anymore,
that’s one place where we can all feel young again.



That place being Santa’s Eyes

Up Next – 3 years later…

my 100th blog –

Merry Christmas, everyone!

4 Replies to “Santa’s Eyes”

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