Merry Christmas from the Iowa/Brooklyn/Beirut Santa!
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 25, 2008
When I awoke this morning, Weather.com told me that it was 1 degree outside. That’s 1 degree Fahrenheit, not Celcius – i.e., 31 degrees below freezing. And with the windchill factor (Iowa is almost a Plains state, so there is LOTS of wind, and not much to break it up), it is -14 degrees.
Brrrrr! I’m glad its warm inside, and glad that the power is totally, unequivocably on.
My aunt’s Christmas post this morning mentioned our family’s position on Santa: that “as long as you believe in Santa Claus, Santa Claus will come.” Very true – and I can see four over-stuffed Santa stockings in my parents’ living room, testaments to the importance of belief :).
What Intlxpatr didn’t mention is that there are two types of Santas in our family: the original, who comes in the middle of the night, keeps reindeer, and leaves lots of little gifts in our stockings; and the regional, who exists in multiples and delivers his/her gifts by regular US mail.
The regional Santas are tireless promoters of their homelands, and many of them are real food connoisseurs. They also delegate shipping duties to relatives who live in the Santa’s area. Hence growing up, the Hawaii Santa often sent macadamia nuts via our cousins, who live on one of the big islands. The Seattle Santas (its a big city, and we had many relatives in Seattle) sent box after box of Frangoes, which we of course “sampled” immediately after unwrapping.
This year, the Brooklyn Santa dubbed me the official shipper for assorted borough-themed gifts, which were sent off to Sporty Diamond, her husband Research Diamond, and the rapidly growing nephew. And I see that the Damascus Santa has nominated my aunt to send a few very intriguing packages to me – merci, khalti! I remember when the Shami Santa enticed me into bringing two cans of one of the local Syrian soda brands back for my father, who had found it much tastier than Diet Coke. Regional Santas remember these details 🙂 .
Of course, some Santas have more regional delicacies to offer than others. The Iowa Santa used to be at a culinary disadvantage – what was he/she going to offer: Christmas corn? – but thanks to our mid-1990s discovery of a group of upper Iowa nuns and their caramel-making enterprise, the Iowa Santas were able to compete successfully with the Frango – er, Seattle – Santas when it came to make-you-sick-but-they-taste-so-good sweets.
We’re opening Santa gifts in an hour, after which we will have breakfast and then get dressed. The family and regional Santa gifts will wait until this afternoon: we’re scheduled to be local Santas and deliver hot lunches to eight elderly people. Its a big volunteer operation: dozens of people donate their time early on Christmas to make the lunches, and dozens more donate their mid-days to deliver them. It doesn’t make for a perfect Christmas for the recipients – after all, they enrolled in the program because they would be spending the holiday alone – but it does give them a meal cooked and delivered with love and friendship.
Merry Christmas from Iowa 🙂