Friday, March 19, 2010
A man for all seasons.
I've always had a thing for Santa. More than other seasonal characters a la the Easter Bunny or that whimsical baby and old man who ring in the new year, or the Tooth Fairy nymph of passage, Santa seems to be the icon who holds the most relevance.
The Easter Bunny is illogical. A bunny brings eggs and other special treats, and as the name would indicate, the egg-distributing bunny signifies something about the resurrection of Jesus. Way too confusing, completely illogical. Way too many dots to connect.
I understand the ringing in the new and saying goodbye to the old that the New Year's iconography implies. It's not even much of a veiled message. Young baby = new year, old man = the passage of time. No college-level class that stresses imagery or subtext is required.
The Tooth Fairy attempts to put a loving, lucrative spin on a painful experience. Losing teeth is often accompanied by tears and drama, and what better way to assuage the moment than with a crisp bill under the pillow?
Santa is happy. Santa represents giving.
But Santa has his dark side, too. You're not nice, and not unlike his Jesuit counterpart, there are consequences. Coal in the stocking, for instance. Long story short: if you're good, you're rewarded. If you're bad, you're punished.
However my Santa is the giving Santa. The Revisionist History Santa. He's all about the giving.
So it's officially Spring, and yet Santa still embellishes the holly branches above my kitchen sink. I bought a few strands of bright Santa heads for a dollar a few years ago.
There are at least three explanations for this Santa presence, despite the seasonal incongruity.
The first is that I just like the idea of the giving Santa, and I want to express that symbolic concept all the time.
The next is that I haven't found anything else to replace the holly and Santa display that seems quite as interesting or incongruous.
The third - and most likely - explanation is that I'm too lazy to take Santa down from his perch of honor.
If I were to be completely honest, I think the answer is the latter.
I guess the jury's out. As it's been established in previous blogs, I enjoy incongruity. And I do like the idea of Santa.
Combine those facts with the reality that this is the snowiest season in Colorado, and Santa doesn't feel so out of place.
We'll see how I feel mid-August.
Although Santa and the requisite holly has been a fixture above my sink for a couple of years now.
No matter how hard I try, there's really no explanation that can be logically deconstructed to make any sense at all.
Kind of like Santa.
Posted by Mary at 12:49 PM