Fiction

Excerpt from Holidays On Ice

Santaland Diaries:: David Sedaris

I Photo Elfed all day for a variety of Santas and it struck me that many of the parents don’t allow their children to speak at all. A child sits upon Santa’s lap and the parent say, “All right now, Amber, tell Santa what you want. Tell him you want a Baby Alive and My Pretty Ballerina and that winter coat you saw in the catalog.”

        The parents name the gifts they have already bought. They don’t want to hear the word “pony,” or “television set,” so they talk through the entire visit, placing words in the child’s mouth. When the child hops off the lap, the parents address their children, each and every time, with, “What do you say to Santa?”

        The child says, “Thank you, Santa.”

         It is sad because you would like to believe that everyone is unique and then they disappoint you every time by being exactly the same, asking for the same things, reciting the exact same lines as though they have been handed a script. 

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