“Ho ho ho – let’s take a picture, ” says the approaching Santa. “I do not believe in Santa any more , ” says the 19 years old Kate . The waiter dressed up as Santa looks slightly embarrassed. You can tell that despite the big white beard because he moved away quickly with his head bowed. The picture was not taken. Some how the joyous spirit of Christmas lunch was dampened .
This year , Kate also told her parents that she would send an e-mail to Santa at Santa@yahoo. com to decline any Christmas gifts. She declared that she would not be putting up her usual Christmas stocking next to her bed on Christmas eve, a tra- dition she has kept up all these years for as long as the family could remem ber.
Should Kate’s parents feel relieved that they no longer have to buy the pre sents, gingerly peel off the Welcome or Blockbuster price tags ( which obviously do not ex – ist in Iceland) and set the alarm clock to get up at 3 in the early hours of Christ – mas day to stuff the stocking ? They should feel happy that she is growing up , shouldn’t they ?
Nineteen is a critical year , it marks the passage from secondary school into uni- versity, from teenage into young adulthood. It makesa person – especially a girl – feel older than she really is . Declining Christmas stockings and declaring one’s dis- belief in Santa ( even though that myth was blowna long time before that ) are asser- tions of one’s adulthood. It is like reaching a point of no re – turn , from then on you move further and further away from your parents’ influ ence to assume your own identity .
Instead of happiness with Kate’s growing up , her parents felt more sadness at Santa’s passing- it was like cutting off another tie with Kate’s childhood. Life with all its pressure and in – justice is all too real . So why not make pretence and indulge in the fun of mythical creatures- at least for one day a year ?