In case you hadn’t heard, in case this is news to you, the holidays are coming and Santa Claus is coming too. But not to my house.
This wasn’t really an issue for Flower. Oh, she knows about Santa Claus, but the whole “Guy in red comes down your chimney,” was something she could take our leave. She likes the music, and the lights, and Flower’s birthday, which is December 8th and is the biggest holiday of all. She also really loves Haunkkah..
But Curley. Curley wants to know about Santa Claus. And everyone will be talking about Santa Claus, and so on. His friends at school. And strangers will walk up to him and say, “What is Santa going to bring for you?” They’ll do this because they want to see Curley smile. People did this to Flower. But the most anyone would get out of Flower would be her saying, “Santa!” and bursting into a rousing chorus of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town,” complete with a special dance and her own lyrics. And I would say, “She’s Jewish. We don’t celebrate Christmas,” and smile to show that I wasn’t offended by someone being kind to my child.
But Curley is curious about this Santa thing. He asked me about it. “What’s that?” he said, pointing to a picture of Santa Claus he found on an old gift bag that was lying on the floor. (What? Isn’t that where everyone stores their old gift bags?) Curley wanted to know all about Santa Claus. Who he is. What he does. What he could do, if given a chance, for Curley. Like bring Curley some toys. Curley likes toys. Or maybe bring Curley a doggie. Curley would really like a doggie.
“Santa Claus comes to the houses of all the non-Jewish children,” I said. “He comes down the chimney.”
Curley doesn’t know about chimneys. He looked unsure.
“He comes down the chimneys of non-Jewish children and he eats all their cookies,” I said. “But you, Curley, are a Jewish child, and you are lucky. You get to keep your cookies.”
“I wanna cookie,” Curley said.
“Yes, that sounds good,” I said. “Let’s go get a cookie.”