Back when I believed in Santa Claus, the holidays were a magical time. But then I turned 25, and with that came the harsh reality that some of the best things in life are complete lies. (Younger readers, stop here, because I’m about to ruin your existence.) I realized that Santa Claus is a fictitious character whose chief aim is to promote corporate materialism (gifts made by elves—essentially slave labor), race-based objective morality (why’s the white man judging who’s naughty or nice?) and the obesity epidemic (he’s really fat).
You see, today, I am a grown-ass man. And the mythic characters of my idyllic youth (Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the cast of Diff’rent Strokes) have been overshadowed by the harsh realities of real-life people (Bernie Madoff, Kim Kardashian, the cast of Diff’rent Strokes). Maybe this is why I no longer care to decorate trees, sing Christmas carols or smile at strangers. Adult life is nothing to smile about. So instead of decking the halls (I don’t even know what the hell that means), I do what most of us adults do. I drown myself in alcohol, and I have unprotected sex.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I recently impregnated my wife. (I know, jarring transition, but bear with me. I’m a little drunk.)
So the other day, we had our first sonogram, and let me just say that there is nothing more surreal than seeing your own baby, heartbeat and all, just laying there, deep in your wife’s vagina. It’s disgusting. But it’s also really beautiful, and dare I say…magical? My wife and I can’t believe this is all happening. I, for one, never imagined that I would ever be a father. I always thought that parenthood was reserved for people who wore Dockers, or Mormons, or teenagers, but not for me!
But the holidays are here, and I’ve gotten to thinking. How cool is it that I get to treat this little person to the wonders of my own long-lost childhood? There was a time when I was loved and cherished and protected from all the bad things, and here, for some strange reason, I get to do the same. I picture the three of us decorating trees, singing carols and walking around the neighborhood, smiling at strangers.
Who knows, maybe we’ll even deck a few halls. I can introduce the kid to Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Oprah Winfrey and all the other mythic characters of this enchanted world! So yes, lately I’ve been reconsidering my stance on Santa. I still don’t think he exists in physical form, but I will concede that his spirit is alive and well. Unless that’s just the alcohol talking.
This article was published in the December 2011 issue of KoreAm. Subscribe today!