This has really gone far enough.
I consider myself to be a pretty open-minded, tolerant person when it comes to most things. I don’t really care what color your house is or whether or not you are fastidious about doing the weeding. Leave your trashcans by the curb for an extra day, sure. Forget to take your newspaper in one day, whatever.
So, I held by tongue during Halloween when you decorated your yard like a scene straight out of a nightmare even Freddy Krueger would wake screaming from. Sure, my children were scared (honestly, so was I) by the Blair Witch Project stick set-up and the actual refrigerator (with a chainsaw on top) opened to reveal disembodied fake limbs with blood dripping down the front. Yes, the stuffed Hannibal Lecter in the mask with the bars over his mouth on the wheeled dolly was creepy, but I held my tongue. Quite honestly,the tombstones all over the yard and the hands sticking up from the ground almost made me crash my car a few times, but I managed to slam on the brakes in time. I didn’t even complain when you left said decorations out until well into November. I just told my girls that some people enjoy bringing out the creepy decor for Halloween and to please just avert their eyes as we drove past every.single.day on our way to and from school.
However, I can stay silent no more.
You see, Halloween is one thing, but Christmas is something altogether different in my opinion.
You can imagine my displeasure then when I discovered what you had up your sleeve to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Let me set the scene for you. The car contained my four year-old and me. We were merrily riding along listening to the radio play non-stop Christmas carols from what seems to be about November 1st through Valentine’s Day, but I digress. Now, I saw it first, and quickly said a prayer to sweet baby Jesus that my child would not. But alas, it was too late. From the backseat…
Abby: Mom, I see something strange.
Me: (trying desperately to seem totally non-plussed) Oh really, honey, what do you see?
Abby: (her voice getting just a tad higher as the emotion rises) I see red pants and black boots. Is that Santa?
Me: Um, I think so honey, but it is just a decoration.
Abby: No, it isn’t. That is the real Santa. And he is dead.
Cue the sobbing. Because of course, she was convinced that to what did her wondering eyes appear but Santa facedown, flat on the neighbor’s roof dead. Obviously, Christmas was now ruined, because how could Santa bring her presents if he was dead.
Now, y’all, I think putting a very realistic, lifelike Santa Claus on your roof as if he fell out of the chimney and died just really isn’t clever, cute or funny. I think if you know for a fact that you live in a neighborhood filled with children, and you already seem to enjoy scaring them out of their minds at Halloween, then perhaps you could lay low for Christmas.
All of us parents have enough to deal with during the month of December, so what we don’t need to add to our list is a daily explanation about the fate of Santa Claus.
Needless to say, Robert and I adopted the policy of telling our girls that the people who live in that house are clearly naughty and will quite obviously only be receiving coal in their stockings. If Santa can manage to get off their roof, I mean.