Skip to main content

Nothing honors the birth of Jesus Christ more than a perverted Santa.

The phone rang that cold, wintery evening several years ago as snow began to fall. There had been talk of a blizzard, worsening road conditions, lots of drifting. It was a night where you just wanted to pull on your sweatpants and cuddle on the couch. Which was exactly what I was doing.

"Uh, Bridget?" [That's me, for all of you who thought my real name was Phoenix.]


"That was my friend, Sean - you remember him... the teacher over at the Catholic school?"


"He needs me to do a favor.... tonight.... uh, right now?"

Okaayyy.... what kind of favor?

"Well, it turns out they have some sort of Christmas Party thing at the school and Santa comes and delivers gifts to the kids and stuff except the guy that was supposed to be Santa just called and said he can't make it because of the roads and so since Sean knew I lived just a few blocks away he asked if I'd be willing to play the part of Santa. Do you think I should do it? He said you and the girls can come with."

Let me get this straight. Some teacher at a private Catholic school wants you to dress up like Santa Claus and interact with young children under a false identity?

"He said they have the costume there."

Hell, yes, you should do it! I'm not missing this for the world! Grab your coats, kids - we're about to witness something spectacular!

And so we all piled into the truck and carefully made our way the six blocks over to the big church on the corner.

Remember, you can't promise things like a new baby sister or a puppy - parents get pissed at that stuff. Hey, wait, do Catholics even believe in Santa Claus? Shouldn't they have asked you to dress up like a Shepherd? Or Joseph? Even a gift giving angel makes more sense than a Santa. Also, you have to stay in character the whole time... even when you talk to another adult, or a teacher, or me. You never know when kids are listening - they're sneaky like that. You have to use the Santa voice the whole time. Do you even *have* a Santa voice? You should practice. Are you going to have to lead a prayer as Santa? Do you even know how to pray? Is Santa even Catholic?

And then Big V was whisked away to a back classroom at the end of a dark hall while the girls and I were escorted into the Lunch/Gym/Basketball Court/We Only Have One Big Space In This Entire School So This Is Where We Party At room. And it was filled to the brim with kids. Lots of them. Hyped up on sugar. Lots of it.

"Hey, Ma." My littlest leaned towards me. "Does Big V even know how to be a Santa?"

I don't know, honey. But we're about to find out....

And as if on cue, jingle bells began to chime in the distance.

The teacher gathered the attention of the children and their parents, "Shhh.... do you hear what I hear?"


And just like that way too many children were making way too much noise and jumping up and down.

"Ho! Ho! Ho!" In walked Big Santa V, decked out from head to toe, and he looked, well, like Santa.

"Hello, boys and girls! Have you been good?!"


Again with the screaming.

My oldest leaned towards me from the other side, "he looks... good?" Trust me. I was in as much shock as she was. He did look good. And he sounded good. And, hey, maybe he could pull this off. Look at all those smiling faces....

And just then the teacher announced that it would be piñata time ... because apparently Catholic Santa's are known for busting candy out of papier-mâché containers shaped like Sponge Bob Square Pants. Who knew?

So all the excited kids formed a wide circle around the surprise piñata which was being hung from 40-year old ceiling tile, which was probably dropping toxic asbestos on to the heads of the innocents, but no one seemed to mind. Not even the parents, who busied themselves with their video cameras because you can't miss an opportunity to record the destruction of artwork with a stick for the sole purpose of immediate sugar gratification.

Then, into the center of the circle strutted Santa. Oh, yes. There was a strut. Because, you see, Big V is a very athletically competitive person. And in his mind, he had a baseball bat and he was walking up to home plate ready to score the winning run.

Until the day I die, I will never fully understand why Big Santa V chose the following words... as he strutted around the children, twirling that stick:

"Who wants to see me WHACK IT?! Who wants to see Santa WHACK IT?!"

And - my personal favorite - as he pointed his big stick to some unsuspecting 5 year old boy: "You! Do YOU wanna see Santa WHACK IT?! Do you wanna see Santa WHACK IT HARD?!"

And that would be the one and only time Big V was ever asked to portray Santa Claus at the local Catholic School.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a most Joyous Hanukkah
to you and yours!


Chiconky said…
I went to Catholic school. They're probably still talking about the Santa of questionable morals. Awesome post.
Brenna said…
He should have offered puppies and left it at that.
Hey. At least he was honest about it unlike some clergy members... Was that over the line? Nah. Not here, right?
Becca said…

I love this so much.

Popular posts from this blog

The House that God Built

in·stan·ta·ne·ous /ˌinstənˈtānēəs/ adjective 1. occurring or done in an instant or instantly.
synonyms: immediate, instant, on-the-spot

The thing is, she died so sudden.
I didn't have the chance to plead with God, to make all the irrational promises. If he would just let her be okay.... I would start taking better care of my health. I would be nicer to the neighbor that drove me crazy. I would always let someone else go in front of me at Walmart no matter how long the line was. I wouldn't complain. Ever. I would volunteer at the Homeless Shelter. I would clean up after pigs. I would clip the toenails of the elderly. I would do anything and everything He would ask me to do....
There is a box on her death certificate that captures the amount of time between the initial injury and the time of death. It reads "seconds." I wish it read "instantaneous" because she deserves a clever word like that.
Fast forward five years.... definitely taking MUCH longer than "…

Seeing Avery All Grown Up

One day I'll tell you about the freezing cold we left and the heavy bags we lugged, full of supplies and medicines. I'll tell you about arriving in Port au Prince and walking across a cracked concrete parking lot to board an old school bus with a flat tire. How the heat was suffocating after months of below zero Wisconsin winter weather, how the people crowded and walked too close to moving traffic as we searched for a tire shop that was barely more than a couple men sitting on overturned 5-gallon buckets on the side of the road next to a pile of old tires, everything covered in dirt.

I'll tell you about waiting on the bus while they removed the tire and I'll recall the loud explosion that rocked the bus and scared the life out of me and how I was relieved to learn it was just the tire blowing after being filled too far. (They didn't have any gauges.) And then I'll tell you about the fear I felt when I realized we didn't have a tire and we were stuck on th…

When Your Imagined Life is Nothing Like This One

There were so many ways I imagined my adult life would be....THIS is not one of them.
I posted that on my Facebook wall last night. It might have been seen as funny except my choice of hashtags gave me away:
treading water getting nowhere piles of disappointment not many successes worn out and exhausted out of options

I always imagined my life would be thrilling. Full of exciting adventures and people from all over the world. I would dine at Ethiopian, Thai, and Indian restaurants. I would write books, teach English, coach forensics and direct the play. My husband would be charming and funny and not care about gender roles when it came to household chores. He would beg for at least six kids and I would fall in love with him all over again each time I caught him giving good life advice.
I would take photographs and travel the world documenting the people I came across. I would adopt a sibling group of three or maybe four and work on foster care policies because the ones we have aren't work…