MYTH OR FACT: SANTA CLAUS

A photo of Santa Claus

I actually don’t know if its just me or its happening to everyone. Do we all agree that there is some level of happiness or fulfillment that comes with ignorance? Have you ever known something and actually regretted that you knew it? For starters, I just found out that the baby in the movie BABY’S DAY OUT is now twenty-seven years old. I am not even going to talk about the man from HOME ALONE. Meanwhile, In United States of America; or in the internet TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT is everywhere.

Well then, down to me. I am an African and a Nigerian precisely. Here, in Nigeria we’ve never had snow. (laughs) Well, if we did; my grandma would run, I think my mom too would run. Unlike the temperate zones where you do have four seasons; here we’ve just got two seasons. The rainy and the dry (harmattan) season. Because of how the yuletide season comes hand in hand with the harmattan season, it has now been taken to mean one and the same. So, just as snow signifies Christmas or brings memories of Santa, I think I’m safe to say the harmattan does same.

Growing up as a kid, I believed in Santa Claus. I felt he was a grandfather who loved kids, who used the whole year from 26th December down till 24th to get us gifts. I believed he was real. At some point, I actually thought he was the father of Jesus; who was so happy at the birth of his son and decided to give us good things. My dad didn’t make it easier too, he made it feel like Santa actually provided more than normal during the yuletide season. He always repainted our house during that time; bought music lights that would play all through the season; our speakers blared Christmas music only. It was the time we got special clothes never to be worn until Christmas morning. You could only whisper about the clothes (laughing so hard). You dare not describe or let your neighbor see your ‘Christmas clothes’ until Christmas morning. A comedian once joked that his parents usually got his ‘Christmas clothes’ earlier in the year by February when the prices must have come down and kept them till the yuletide. I felt Santa was the one who also provided the money.

It was like Santa Claus was the ‘god’ of Christmas. I can’t event know if I related Christmas to Santa or the birth of Jesus more, but I just felt Santa was a god. Well, the televisions didn’t help either; getting to watch Christmas songs and movies with Santa in it. It was a time when everyone seem to have time for their family. Well, I started having sympathy for people; when I discovered that some persons actually had to work, for me to actually have a good time. I remember once at the Port Harcourt zoo, how ecstatic I felt because a certain Santa Claus shook my hand whilst making the ‘ho-ho-ho’ sound. Wow! pictures with Santa were treasured and watched times over and over. Even when I heard some people saying, “Father Christmas”, I corrected them that it wasn’t so, that it was Santa Claus. But I was corrected too that the English meaning is Father Christmas.

Santa Claus or Father Christmas; whatever he bore was still fine with me. Not until, I attended an event at NTA (Nigerian Television Authority) Port Harcourt chapter, that I found out that the Santa Claus here was dark. I’m not racist, (laughs) but I’ve always pictured Santa as a white man. So how is this one black? Again my dad was there to convince me that Santa was too busy so he sent one of his sons. I wondered why his son couldn’t be white. But then I remembered my grandma’s hen had black and white chicks, so I bought the lie too. Don’t be in a rush, wait.

It all dawned on me; when I saw a Santa actually pulling off his mascot cloth. That was it for me (laughs). No one was going to do any further convincing. This also made me fear masquerade less.

So with the yuletide season drawing near again, memories of Santa comes again to me. But then, what if we just keep on passing what was passed onto us. The Myth of Santa Claus! (Smiles)

Merry Christmas my laudable readers!

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