Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How the Grinch REALLY Stole Christmas



My seventh year was the last year I believed in Santa Claus.

And the Grinch is to blame.

I didn't have older siblings to spill the beans. The bratty neighbor didn't dime out St. Nick. No, it happened when I had an epiphany while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Well, that's not entirely fair. It was a combination of the Grinch and a standard, everyday clock. Those were the tools of my loss of innocence.

Here's how it went down. We all know that the Grinch is a burglar and a larcenist. He'd be doing hard time if it weren't for the fact that the Whos are biologically incapable of conceptualizing jails. I watched the Grinch breaking and entering via the chimney. I watched him slink around the room and manage to add corruption of minors to his rap sheet as he made off with the presents, food, and Cindy Lou's trust in adults forever. The epiphany came, however, when I suddenly realized how…much…time…it……took. Around 5 minutes for a single house.

That got me thinking. Even if you worked in some serious magic mojo and assumed that Santa could teleport himself in and out of the house in 1 second, my immediate neighborhood alone would take one minute to deliver the goods. If my neighborhood took one minute, a few square miles around me could easily take 1 hour. You see where this is going. There just isn't enough time, man. Wake up and smell the math.

I didn't really hate the Grinch for ruining the magic of my childhood.

If anything I blamed myself for being so thick.

But maybe I'm being too forgiving. We just had to break the anti-Santa news to our 12-year-old.

Maybe the song was right. Maybe I was robbed worse that the Whos.

Stink, stank, stunk.

11 comments:

Loren Eaton said...

Wait, what's all this about "spilling the beans" on Santa? Are you insinuating that ... Oh, no. No, that can't be. That's ... that's impossible!

Laurel said...

I extend hearty congratulations that you made it to twelve. Also, I feel it my duty to ask...

Is it possible that your now 12 year old figured it out a while ago and declined to say anything because, well, it's a pretty good gig? 'Cause I know that crossed my mind.

At age 8 when I determined that physics, nature, geography, and plain old cultural differences did not allow for the existence of Santa in the espoused manifestation, I kept my mouth shut for fear that my skepticism would give my parents cause to discontinue the obscene level of Santa gifting.

I'm just sayin'. Maybe you're not the bad guy. Maybe your 12 year old is a con artist.

the walking man said...

Was it the Grnch or your ability to do math?

strugglingwriter said...

It's easy, really. He just travels at the speed of light. We need to teach our kids about Relativity at an earlier age to keep their Santa doubts at bay.

My 5 year old daughter and I talked about this a little, early in the year. Basically I told her that Santa has a way to make time work differently on Christmas Eve. I also told her that after Christmas Santa sleeps for like 3 days straight to catch up on his rest.

Seré said...

So there are SOME benefits to being lousy at math...

Lee said...

The Christmas my daughter was six, Santa delivered a hamster to her daddy's work that he brought home a day early, because Santa couldn't keep all the LIVE animals on his sleigh. It worked until a neighbor girl told her the truth a few weeks after Christmas. Deductive reasoning followed that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were Mom and Dad too. I did teach her that the Spirit of Santa was real and that rekindled some of the magic. Love all the above comments and the lyrics to the song in the Grinch. Yes, stink, stank, stunk!!!

Jackie Jordan said...

I’m with you Jason. Logic always throws a wrench into my gears, as well. If I could only practice irresponsibility, I might get some things accomplished once in awhile, or end up in the clink! I learned the truth about the Jolly Old Elf at 7, but hid this fact from my parents as to not hurt their feelings. I still wrote my Christmas letters every year until I was about 12 when I broke the news to them … a sad day! I hope your 12 year old took it well …

SzélsőFa said...

hah, i see why this post is labelled intp....
:)
it also clearly shows the western man's monotheist approach, even if s/he is an atheist...
(i'm referring here the fact that you counted with only one Santa Claus...)

jason evans said...

Loren, it's okay, man. Santa will be there in a couple of days. I promise.

Laurel, I think she had some suspicions, but just didn't "go there." Clearly, the logic was not the driving factor for her. The weird things is, a lot of her friends lasted this long too. We just didn't want her catching grief in middle school.

Walking Man, my fault, surely.

Strugglingwriter, in not sure if the time-working-differently angle would have worked on me. I probably would have still calculated the many months (or years) it would have taken Santa with time stopped. Sounds like that Twilight Zone episode where that guy was doomed to a hellish eternity of time stopped for everyone but him.

Sere, hee! I really got a raw deal, then. I was good enough at math to take down Santa, but not good enough to really shine at the subject and ace my grades. It was biologically impossible for me to get a grade higher than B+ in college calculus. I clearly hit my limit.

Lee, damn neighbor. I hope the hamster bit her later.... Six is unfortunately young to have that happen. She didn't find a reason to still believe, though. Her logic must have been churning too. Another kid may have just taken some emergency reasoning and gone with it.

Jackie, I'll still keep our logic, despite the drawbacks. There is comfort in having your truths be testable and repeatable.

Szelsofa, good catch! I suppose one explanation could be millions and millions of demigods who each spend the night visiting a handful of houses.

SzélsőFa said...

sure!
either that or Santa himself is multi-personal. :)

Jackie Jordan said...

I agree with Laurel. Where's the truth about selling the Santa story to a child when you hide the Christmas gifts in the storeroom closet. A drum set at 7,a new bike at 8, etc. I'm sure many kids play along even when they are in the know ...