Friday, December 21, 2012
An Ode to Santa
Aside from family and friends, there are tons of other people who are important in one’s life. Some who come to mind for myself are Hopalong Cassidy, Jack Benny, John McEnroe, Paul Bunyan, Brigitte Bardot, Sigmund Freud, Vince Lombardi, and Santa Claus. Hopalong and Freud were influential, but Santa, of course, outweighs them all. It’s hard to imagine anyone else being such a source of wonder, obsession, and adrenaline-rushing pleasure. Like other kids, I went through a period of disbelief around age six when I began imagining that Santa didn’t really exist. My faith was restored, though, two decades later when I became a parent myself, and Santa became nearly as big a presence as he’d been years before. This is because Katja and I became his local household agents. It was our task to pick up presents at the toy store, wrap them with a bow, hang the stockings on the mantel, put out the milk and cookies, set the gifts under the tree at midnight, and read the bedtime story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Since this ritual occurs simultaneously in millions upon millions of households, it seems incontrovertible that Santa is a tangible, consequential force in the world. Most of all, he epitomizes endless goodness – generosity to a fault, selflessness, dedication to creating happiness in the world. Because he generates such positive feelings, I decided to concentrate on collecting Santa Claus ephemera. I already had a batch of vintage Santa Claus postcards and old magazine ads featuring Santa. Recently I’ve been collecting Santa Claus greeting cards from the 1940’s and 50’s and beyond. In celebration of the season, I’ve posted a few of these below. Merry Xmas to all.
-Phyllis S-S (12-22): Dave, What a great way to share your terrific collection. They are charming. I hope you do more themes. Phyllis