12/16/2021 Santa Ben Laden   Leave a comment

As a young child my parents made every attempt to make Christmas as memorable as possible for my sister and for me. I was almost 6 years old when this incident took place back when I still firmly believed the tales of Santa and his elves and all that good stuff. But in the back of my young mind, I secretly was beginning to have doubts. A lot of what I was being told by the family wasn’t what I was hearing on the playground. My friends had almost convinced me there was no Santa and that my parents were actually the real gift givers.

My parents apparently began to suspect that was wavering and that their propaganda was falling on deaf ears. In a conspiracy involving my mother’s sister, Annamae, they decided drastic action was going to be needed. I’d been acting out and being a little disrespectful so it was time for Santa to straighten me out.

It was about a week before Christmas and we were visiting my grandparents. I was being a huge pain in the butt like a lot of six-year-olds can be. It was just after dark and I was walking through the house to the kitchen. As I passed by a window I glanced over and almost crapped my pants. There was Santa standing there staring at me and smiling. I was terrified and quickly ran upstairs and hid under the bed and refused to come out until the coast was clear. My parents let me know in no uncertain terms that Santa was out looking for those children who were being good and visiting those that weren’t.

For the next day or so I was a perfect little angel but after dark I was afraid to look out the windows or to enter a dark room. Santa the terrorist had accomplished his mission. I saw him on two or three other occasions during the next few years, once at our home, and again in the cellar of my grandparents’ house. Unfortunately, I was already a nonbeliever by that time but went along with the charade to keep peace in the family and not to scare my little sister. By then I knew my parents were the ones I needed to suck up to and I did it in grand fashion.

Many years later while I was digging through a trunk in my aunt’s bedroom I discovered where Santa had been hiding. His retirement consisted of being hidden under a pile of sheets and pillowcases in an old trunk. My aunt laughed like crazy when I confronted her, and we both enjoyed the moment very much while I modeled the hat and beard. It was a real Hallmark moment for both of us.

What I never told her or my parents was that there was some lingering collateral damage from their actions. To this day during the Christmas season, I’m careful in dark rooms and try never look out the windows. In the malls or stores where Santas is holding court, I walk on by without making eye contact. The guy still scares the bejesus out of me. LOL

HO, HO, HO – It’s Santa Ben Laden


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