The holidays can be such a drudge for parents. Years of tradition make us nostalgic but somehow we want to avoid the festivities too. There is work and responsibility and in my case, a foreboding feeling that I won’t meet expectations. What this holiday needs is something uplifting. I don’t mean the type of uplifting where a stranger pays for a child to get his mother Christmas shoes or the solider comes home but the kid doesn’t know and then surprises them. I can’t watch that stuff or read it, much less type it. I’ve become too soft from all this estrogen. There is no need to explain to my children why I’m crying and typing at the same time. We need shallow, on the surface, smile through the tears uplifting.
The entertainment we need this holiday is some good old-fashioned gladiator style fun. Nothing is more useful for that than animals you live with or children who don’t know any better.
This is where the Giddyup Santa came through for us this year.
Not three days ago I was walking through Pet Smart while the oldest child sobbed about a kitten (that there was no way in hell was coming home with us). Jane is softhearted towards animals anyway and this potential rescue cat was working overtime on trying to get a new owner. Most of the orphaned cats were busy sleeping in their litter boxes which I can only assume is because the boxes are covered and the shrieking sounds of children are more muffled. This particular cat was making solid eye contact with everyone who came by his cage. He saw Jane and smelled a sucker. He rubbed against the cage near her and purred. She asked him if he wanted to go home with us and I kid you not, he put his paw through the cage and lifted the padlock. As if he was calling her bluff and asking it to be opened. She instantly got all doe eyed and teary. “He wants a home daddy….”
Not going to happen.
So anyway, Jane was crying about the cat and we were trying to walk our way through the store. Then he caught my eye. An ambitious and daring Santa who had the poise of a rodeo cowboy and the bravado of a Navy Seal. The mere fact that there was no picture on the packaging told me that this Santa didn’t give two shits what you strapped him to, he was going to ride it into the ground. At a respectable fifty percent discount and noticing that all of the product was virtually untouched, I knew that this was the item for me. It was a Miracle on 34th street but the movie will be titled Clearance on Aisle 9. I mean he had adjustable Velcro straps. What wouldn’t this Santa ride? I intended to find out.
First opponent was our diapered dynamo, the family dog. For a solid five minutes Santa endured the nervous shivers, heavy shedding, and incessant whining of a half blind Boxer. I was impressed. This jolly old elf had nerves of steel and a back made of felt. When it was clear that he had crushed her will I looked for Santa’s next challenge.
Santa needed something more dangerous and more headstrong. Nothing competes with a panther. Unfortunately our cat isn’t a panther but she is partially black and mentally unstable. Good enough.
You should have seen Santa shine. I have been trying to get the best of that cat for nearly a decade and he crushed her in fifteen seconds. I had cheers and before I knew it I was on my feet cheering him on. I might as well have been watching the end of The Jungle Book, the mighty tiger was defeated. Poor Cat was so confused that she just sat there waiting for life to end. But Santa is merciful and let her live.
Then Santa met his match. My children returned home from a trip to the grandparents and they heard of the amazing bravery and strength. They all wanted a shot at the title so we arranged what may become the most time honored tradition since Elf on the Shelf, Santa Rodeo Challenge.
WordPress is really unreliable with videos so I YouTubed them.
Calamity Jane gave it a good try.
Don Threeto put him in a death spin.
Prima the Ballerina crushed his holiday spirit.
Who will be Santa’s next challenge? Do you think he could survive your pets or kids? I’m not saying that Santa is the toughest man alive but if Chuck Norris wears a Santa hat…
So if you have weird traditions or spontaneous Santa Rodeos, this post is for you. You’re welcome.
Underdaddy to the rescue.