|Father Christmas (Santa Claus?) Bearing Gifts by Goat|
(picture from article about Santa Claus in Wikipedia )
Shall I read to you, dear? Television has no more allure. We've both exhausted our gender-determined word allowances for the day. Let's open a book--novel idea!--and see if we can kill a little time, dispel the darkness, find some meaning in life, ignore that bottle of French brandy sitting on the counter...
So we climb into bed, and I open a new favorite Christmas story. It's Bret Harte's short story "How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar." I found it in one of the red-bound, Black's Reader Service Company books that Mom gave me from Dad's extensive book collection. Now you might think it's a strange one to choose from a veritable treasure trove of stories concocted about the old fellow over hundreds of years. I guess I like it because it's not your traditional sappy story. It's written by a man whose genius captures his fellow Americans, male and female, simultaneously as the fools they are and the heroes that they become. I have to wonder. Are we really as complicated and conflicted as that? Not so easily pigeon-holed or neatly wrapped and ribboned as social and political scientists would have us be?
Better not think too much. "Do not all charms fly/ At the mere touch of cold philosophy?" (Keats, "Lamia")