Maia has a Santa phobia. We're not quite sure where it came from. She's generally OK if she sees the guy on the street, or in a window or a picture. But at bedtime, she starts to cry in that quiet brave way kids sometimes have, and says she doesn't want Santa coming into our house. "I don't want to hear his footsteps! I don't want to see him!" she cried.
"Oh honey, you won't!" I replied, with the conviction of pure truth.
Matt took the kids to his union Christmas party a couple weeks ago. Santa made an entrance, to the delight of the vast majority of the under-8 crowd. But caught off guard by the visit, Maia made a terrified beeline against the throng, screaming and fighting to get away.
Matt caught her up and explained to her that this wasn't actually Santa, it was a helper -- a union carpenter dressed in a red suit and who wanted to make people happy. She got a hold of herself and eventually accepted the imposter as a friend.
So, to review: Some guy at a union Christmas party with a couple beers in him in a borrowed red suit, possibly spotted later bumming a Doral behind the hall? OK!
Metaphorical representation of the magic of Christmas and secular goodwill? Terrifying.