CSotD: Don’t they know it’s Christmas Eve?

Today’s The Other Coast pings a particularly sweet spot for me, because I remember asking my mother about the same problem: Santa comes down chimneys and we didn’t have one.

Well, we did, but it led directly into the furnace, which didn’t seem like a good entrance to the house.

The background to her answer is that she had been particularly traumatized when she learned the truth about Santa, which could have resulted in a complete denial of the entire concept.

Instead, however, she simply became a neutral observer. We wrote Christmas wish lists, but she didn’t tell us they were going to the North Pole, although, then again, she didn’t tell us they weren’t.


I’m thinking of George Kennedy in the Dirty Dozen, following along in the war games and not interfering but just kind of chuckling to himself as he watched it all unfold.

Such that, when I asked how Santa could get into our house when we didn’t have a chimney, she simply responded, “What do you think?”

And it was a response, not an answer. A kid who persisted was so close to figuring it out that it wouldn’t be fair to lie, while my recollection is that I simply continued to ponder the matter, with the result that, unlike her, I have no memory of learning the truth.

At some point, I just figured it out.

I also have no memory of my mother ever lying to me, which I think was her goal.

“What do you think?” is a pretty good response to all sorts of questions parents face.

It’s sort of connected to that parenting in which you put a bowl of food on the highchair tray and then stand back, having faith that however much of it ends up on the floor or in the kid’s hair, enough will find its way into his mouth that he won’t starve.

And that the proportions will eventually adjust without your intervention.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Pooch Cafe)



Obviously, these comic strips share a Bond.

Paul Gilligan, creator of Pooch Cafe, is Canadian, and people drink Red Rose tea up there, though I can’t verify that he, himself, does.


However, here’s proof that Lio cartoonist Mark Tatulli — seen with Stone Soup’s Jan Eliot at a Kenosha Cartooning Festival — is an expert with the shaker.


Meanwhile, if Dave Whamond is going to Hell for this gag, I’ll be right with him because I laft.

Though at least he’s making a joke. There are a lot of people who put way too much energy into trying to prove that the star was real, tracking down supernovas and other phenomena.

They’re completely serious, but they’ve completely missed the point.

Count the number of times Jesus tried to avoid people who wanted to see more parlor tricks and then add to that the number of times he expressed a preference for those who had not seen and yet believed.

You don’t have to see a star, baby, to be in his movie.


There are all sorts of Christmas panels floating around, but I like Ed Hall’s, because it emphasizes Jesus as rebbe, as teacher.

I don’t know — or much care — if he could turn water into wine or raise the dead, but I’m inclined to believe the part in the Bible where he wants to just sit and talk with some kids, because that’s how great teachers are.

“Talk with,” that is. Not “Talk to.”

In this cartoon, I’m willing to bet his next line is “What do you think?”




3 thoughts on “CSotD: Don’t they know it’s Christmas Eve?

  1. My mother remained FURIOUS for her entire life, after learning that her parents had lied to her about Santa Claus! She said that she felt she’d been made a fool of, and that her parents had been laughing at her. She would get quite worked up on the subject. Strangely, however, I was likewise told the same lies. Does this make my mother a hypocrite? I remember hiding behind the couch in the living room, planning to catch Santa when he slid down the chimney. Of course I woke up in bed the next morning, and realised I’d missed him. I swore that next year, I wouldn’t nod off. But by the next Christmas, I was Older and Wiser. Damn! I think you have to believe in Santa in order to see him. Maybe I should try again tonight.

  2. Mike, I hope your mom didn’t end up limping like George Kennedy did at the end of the war games. Hope you’re recovering well. Thank you for your daily efforts and your sanity in those efforts. Merry Christmas.

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