This huggable, loveable, jolly old soul has become the face of Christmas in many cultures. He represents the purity and innocence of humanity that we simply don’t get enough of in this world. He loves our children; he loves cookies and milk; he loves making toys; and even better, he loves GIVING THEM AWAY! We refer to him as “Jolly Old Saint Nick,” “Father Christmas,” and my personal favorite, “Papa Noel.” Aside from the creepy fact that he “sees you when you’re sleeping,” he is everything that is right with this world. But, maybe, just maybe, Mr. Kris Kringle has had his own mental health struggles, particularly in the area of compulsive behavior. Let’s take a look.
“He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf…”
Was Santa a compulsive eater? It is no secret that Santa is a bit over weight. In fact, a “skinny” Santa would most likely be deemed an IMPOSTER. The Santa we have come to know and love has a “broad face and little round belly that shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.” However, although Santa’s decisions concerning his own health and well-being is ultimately his responsibility, I do believe that we, as a culture, don’t make it easy on him. We tend to celebrate his heftiness. We sing about it, tell stories about it, and even put out sweets on Christmas Eve, only to be met with disappointment if we woke up the next morning to find them untouched. So, in Santa’s defense, there is a possibility that he may fear being judged or having his legitimacy questioned if he decided to join a CrossFit gym or go all-out Paleo for the sake of his health. But, seeing that he is mysteriously magical, and has been doing it this way for a very long time, he possibly has a metabolism that is well beyond our comprehension. One can’t help but wonder, right?
♫”Little tin horns and little toy drums. Rooty-toot-toot and a rump-a-tum-tum. Curly-haired dolls that tottle and coo. Elephants, boats, and kiddie cars, too.”♫
Was Santa a codependent giver? “What is this?” you might ask. Well, a codependent giver is someone who feels compelled to give away money or possessions because this person fears s/he won’t be accepted or valued by others unless the “others” are receiving these gifts. This may or may not be a real issue for Santa. But, let’s talk about it anyway. You might say, “No, that’s not Santa! He has a ‘naughty list,’ remember? So, he MUST NOT be concerned about people liking him! The gifts have to be earned.” This is true in theory. But, let me ask you a question: Have you ever known anyone who was put on the naughty list? I know I don’t. So, I question the existence of this so-called LIST OF MISFITS! But, I am going to tread lightly here, because if there IS a naughty list, I definitely don’t want to be put on it for questioning Santa’s intentions. So, I say, “Santa, you keep on bringing those gifts if that is what makes your heart smile!”
I apologize if I challenged your view of Santa. My assumption is that although he takes on a human form, he is far from it. I mean, a person that can visit the children of the world bearing gifts, ALL IN ONE NIGHT, is well-beyond my comprehension. So, although these concerns are very suitable for the average human, they most likely aren’t fitting for this Jolly Old Elf. So, we can keep on encouraging him to eat his cookies, drink his milk, and give away his toys in EXCESS, so as long as we understand that healthy human beings have to live by a different set of rules. Blessings to you this holiday season!