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Paul Turner: Here’s some help for parents of Santa doubters

December 18, 2018

With just one week until Christmas, it’s bound to come up.

At least if there are young children in your life.

You know. Is Santa real?

Of course, he is. All sensible adults know that. Who do you think eats those cookies and hummus we leave out on Christmas Eve? Who do you think first sounded the alarm about global warming?

But some little kids are so skeptical. No matter how much compelling evidence you offer, they have doubts. They make a face.

So perhaps instead of engaging that topic, you might want to change the subject. The best way to do that, of course, is to turn the tables and ask the wondering child a question of your own.

Now I know we’re all busy right now. So, to save you some time, I’ve taken the liberty of suggesting a few diversions you can use. Feel free to pick and choose.

Here you go.

“Did you know your mother used to wear snowsuits when she was a little girl? Poor kid. Couldn’t move her arms. And if she fell down, it was all over.”

“How come nobody ever buys me a shiny new SUV for Christmas? I see all these TV commercials where people get cars as presents. They all seem so happy. I must be on Santa’s Naughty list. Or maybe our house is in a yule no-fly zone.”

“Want to go for a ride after dark and psychoanalyze various homeowners on the basis of their holiday lights displays? You can do that thing you did last year where you yelled ‘I begged you to get some therapy’ out the car window.”

“Does anyone on our block who wasn’t in the Air Force mail cards to as many different states as we do?”

“Did I ever tell you about how your aunt once played the baby Jesus in a church Christmas pageant and then, years later, refused to accept lesser roles in any sort of theatrical production? She even turned down the part of Scout in a staging of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ ”

“You know those use-by dates stamped on milk cartons that say 2019? Does that mean the future is assured?”

“When addressing Christmas cards, which is the most commonly asked question? A) What last name is she using now? B) Is he the one who freaks out if you say ‘Happy holidays’ or write ‘Xmas’? C) Did they send us one last year? D) We would have heard, wouldn’t we, if she was no longer living?”

“You know how, in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ George Bailey gets decked by that teacher’s irate husband? Well, if that guy had really been all that concerned about his wife’s feelings, would he have really been getting drunk by himself in a bar?”

“Which gets earlier deliveries from Santa – Idaho or Eastern Washington?”

“When a little girl who lives inside the Spokane city limits asks for a pony, is she really bargaining for a kitten?”

“Does mistletoe mean something different in Coeur d’Alene than it means everywhere else?”

“Did I ever tell you about the Spokane church where the annual Christmas pageant always included a last-minute debate – live baby or doll?”

“Did I ever tell you about the South Hill church where one year the Christmas pageant featured Joseph wearing sunglasses?”

“Did you know that when your great-grandfather was a young man, they had a penalty box at his office Christmas party and that he once got a five-minute major for groping?”

“Are you aware it’s your generation’s job to be offended by certain Christmas songs?”

“You have to like a song that includes ‘stink, stank, stunk.’ ”

“If you had been Rudolph, what unprintable thing would you have told those other reindeer?”

“When hearing ‘I’ll Be Home for Christmas,’ does the lyric ‘And presents on the tree’ always make you think Tannenbaum branches must have been sturdier once upon a time?”

“Did you know Burl ‘Holly Jolly’ Ives died in Anacortes, Washington?”

“Did you know Elf Inc. is building a big fulfillment center out by the airport?”

“Don’t you think some heads should have rolled in product development or even marketing over the whole ‘Island of Misfit Toys’ boondoggle?”

“In what part of Spokane are carolers most apt to hear a shotgun being racked inside the house (even if that sound doesn’t mean what many think it means)?”

“Did you know most of the letters in ‘Santa’ can be found in ‘Spokane’? ”

Contact the writer at srpaulturner@gmail.com.

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