After seeing that one of the requested Analogue Lifestyle articles for December was our childhood photo with Santa, I rummaged through the old family photo albums. Luckily, my parents took a lot of photos back in the day and I did find a photo with Santa.
My sister looks really happy sitting at the back, but I have this bored “Ok…here I am…go on and take the photo” look on my face. Looking at me you’d think I really didn’t like Santa at all. However, knowing myself, I was probably terrified by the fact that I was sitting on a pony.
I don’t remember having this picture taken so I don’t remember what I thought about the Santa standing next to me. Did I think he was the real Santa? Did I know he was a man dressed in costume and assumed the real Santa was hard at work at the North Pole? I don’t know, but I would guess the latter. I saw so many Santas throughout my life that surely I couldn’t have believed it was always the real Santa!
Kids are smarter than we think. Last week I was at the mall and there was this man dressed as Santa and this little little girl started hiding behing her dad so her dad said to her “What’s wrong? Are you afraid of Santa?” She replied, “That’s silly! I know Santa doesn’t exist! I just don’t want him to come talk to me! Look…if he comes over tell him I’m a teenage dwarf!” Her dad just stood there looking at her with a stunned look on his face.
I still remember the moment I was told Santa didn’t exist. I was inside my parents car with my dad and my sister, it was parked in front of our house, we were waiting for my mom, and my dad and my sister told me neither Santa nor the Tooth Mouse (here in Portugal we don’t have a Tooth Fairy, we have a Tooth Mouse) existed. I was so sad. Surely, that couldn’t be true! Santa had to exist, he had given me presents, he had even replied to one of my letters once! I had always imagined lots of friendly mice dressed with jeans and t-shirts, living underground with these really high tech machines that would make an alarm go off everytime a child’s tooth fell. Then, they would go to their storage room full of presents, pick up a present and make their way to the child’s room at night while the child was sleeping. I thought they were all friends with Santa and he also had high tech machines that would tell him every address in the world he had to go. I don’t know how it never occured to me to question how on earth was he able to go around the world in one night.
When I was 3 to 5 years old I had a boyfriend at school and I remember thinking it was so cool that he got to play Santa at my school’s christmas play (yes…does dreaded primary school christmas festivities!). Below you can see a picture of me, holding hands with him and looking rather unhappy (I’m guessing because of that dreadful pink paper-mache bow and makeup I had on!). I then moved to the UK when I was 6 and as you can see the christmas school festivities weren’t half as creative, fun and/or embarrassing, but of course, a kid dressed as Santa always had to be present (photo 2).
My family often makes fun of me because apparently when I was a very small child (about 2 to 3 years old) someone asked me who I liked the most: my Father or Father Christmas (that’s what we call Santa here) and little materialistic me answered “Father Christmas because he gives me lots of presents.” I’m so ashamed of that and can’t for the life of me understand why I would say that as both my parents were always so wonderful to me! Oh well…when you think of it, you can’t really blame a little child, especially since Santa even gave me a toy camera once.
It didn’t take actual photos, but from what I recall it was kind of like a View-Master where you would click the shutter button and different images would flick through. How I loved my old simple toys! What about you? Do you have any recollections of any childhood camera-like toy?