I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! Enjoy the day…
A special thanks goes out to Father Peter for sending us this link on ‘Who is St. Nicholas’.
It’s Christmas Eve and I am confronted with an age-old parental dilemma once again; what to tell my child about the existence of Santa Claus.
St. Nick, Father Christmas, that jolly old elf, whatever you call him, he simply does not exist!
Why do we spend so much time preaching honesty and integrity to our offspring and yet when it comes to the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and countless others, we make an exception? It’s actually an insult to their intelligence.
I recall one Christmas my mother hiring ‘Jimmy the Cook’ from the 12th street diner – who moonlighted as Santa Claus; he showed up at our apartment late Christmas eve carrying a bag from Toys-R-Us and I looked at him kind of weird, ‘Hey you’re not Santa, you cook the bacon and eggs down on 5th avenue’!
Yesterday afternoon I went to the mall along with my daughter Taylor who is 10 years old and her friend Jackie who is 9. We saw the folks who run the joint had their usual set up with Santa sitting in a huge wooden chair and a line of kids and parents out the door. Santa did not look like the Santa we are all used to seeing. There was a mall worker sitting close by with a camera snapping individual pictures, yes, there was a small fee to get your picture taken with St. Nick.
“Steve look, it’s Santa”, Jackie said to me as she pointed over towards him. “I looked at the Santa tracker on the computer this morning and it said he was in Cuba.” she added.
Oh no, what do I say now? My daughter looked at me with that look, ‘C’mon Dad, what’s the deal’?
I have to lie again, don’t I?
I don’t necessarily agree that these are harmless lies, they are lies after all.
Now I know you all out there are saying to yourself “none of us were ever hurt when we finally discovered that Santa Claus was really a fabrication’ – probably dreamed up by some marketing geniuses who knew that billions of dollars could be made by promoting this whopper. I am not so sure.
My wife and I have never really promoted the lie with too much pomp – putting cookies out, fake footprints in the snow, etc.
Taylor asked me last night, “Daddy, how’s Santa gonna get down the chimney”? As we both stared at some logs sitting on top of each other.
Shit, how do I explain this one?
This morning we decided to allow Taylor to open her presents. I mean what the heck, why not? Add in that we are going to visit my father in-law who happens to live 4 hours away; so why travel with Taylor’s gifts in the back-seat of our car?
“Daddy how will Santa know we won’t be home on Christmas?” was another astute question by Taylor last night. Damn Taylor, so many questions, so many lies…
How do you as a parent break the news to your children?
It was just a couple of days ago (the last blog entry) that I mentioned Jimmy Breslin. I also made mention of his daughter, Kelly. This morning opening up my e-mail, I received notice that Kelly, who was 44 years old passed away. Here’s a link to the Daily News story of her death.
Good story from Denis Hamil of the New York Daily News on Jimmy Breslin, one of the best writer’s of our time and his encounter with the late Danny Mills inside Farrell’s… (Thanks to GW for the heads up.)
I once met and got to know Breslin’s daughter Kelly; she was good people at the time we were introduced. Never stayed in touch with her though. Hope she is doing well.
During our trip back home Taylor and I walked all over the city and Brooklyn logging a ton of miles (You wouldn’t believe how many times she wanted to hop in a cab); thank God for the subway! ( I miss the tokens though, I’m not feeling the Metro Card, speaking of, we left NYC with a healthy $$ balance on both cards) First person to email firstname.lastname@example.org with, “Send me your Metro Cards” get them!
One of our stops was Radio City Music Hall/Rockefeller Center. As a kid I never attended the Christmas show on Avenue of the Americas during the Holidays. I’d walk past the historic landmark thousands of times but never once did we ever go from Brooklyn to Manhattan to take in the show. Taylor asked if we could see the show but the timing wasn’t right; I told her we’d attend next year. She also asked me what the show was all about? I tried explain to her that I really didn’t know much about it. I did mention the Rockettes, because that’s the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of the Christmas Spectacular; she looked at me and asked, “What’s the Rockettes”? (Thank God for the poster board on 49th street) Taylor did enjoy the ice skating rink and of course the tree. I also showed her where they film Saturday Night Live; it’s one of her favorite shows.
I have to pass along a funny story. While standing on the corner of 6th avenue and 50th street. While we were looking up at the lights/venue, a woman on her cell phone was rushing by on the sidewalk talking to someone. She was having a hard time getting through the people who were staring up at Radio City, talking, etc. The lady on her phone was so frustrated she screamed into her phone, “THESE FUCKIN’ TOURISTS!” I looked at Taylor and she heard the lady but just stared at me…New York City, skyscrapers and everythang!
“Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down. Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em when they’re down. Kick ’em when they’re up, kick ’em all around…” –Lyrics from Don Henley’s tune Dirty Laundry.
Living in our apartment on 9th avenue over Bob’s Hardware, we didn’t own a washer or dryer. (There was actually one in our kitchen but it wasn’t hooked up) LOL…We used it as a hamper.
There was a joint across the street where we used to carry bags and bags of dirty clothes over to and from the spot. I can recall helping my mom over with the bags and at times not helping her when she asked. I hated it when you weren’t there to take out your clothes from the dryer and someone was waiting to use it would take it upon themselves to empty your clean clothes! Hopefully this picture brings back those memories.
I can also remember Paulie Barrucco holding it down there late night/early morning; depending on your lifestyle. We would also hang out in there as teenagers in the winter time to stay out of the cold. The good old laundromat-who can forget it!