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December 06, 2001 - Image 13

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-12-06

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc. Magazine - Thursday, December 6, 2001
News flash: The fat guy
brnging you present isn't

The Michigan Daily - Weekend, etc: Magazine
DEAR HARRY-THE-HANUKKAH-FAIR

By Rebecca Ramsey
For the Daily
When I was in third grade, I
remember the "cool" kids of Angell
elementary (you know, the ones who
wore the Pump sneakers) con-
fronting me with the dreaded ques-
tion:"Do you believe in Santa
Claus?" Of course, I said "no," for I
was not the type to speak my mind
and I preferred to go along with the
answers of the other fearful chil-
dren. To say "yes," was to sentence
myself to imminent ridicule and
loneliness on the monkey bars. But,
in the back of my mind, I believed.
Fast-forward to college, year
2001: It was a month before
Christmas, and I had just sent my
letter to Santa. Claus, which listed
everything I wanted for Christmas
and that yes, I had been a good girl
this year. My roommate, Katie, just
laughed at me and said she couldn't
believe that I still believed in Santa.
I felt sorry for her, for she did not
understand, the true magic of
Christmas, but I just told her to have
a happy Hanukkah.
Despite all of the snide remarks
and laughs that I had received with

my Santa propaganda, I was still a
loyal devotee to the fat man in the
red suit.
That was two weeks ago, and now
sadly, I think I know the truth: Santa
is just a hoax and a ploy for com-
mercialism. I found out when my
letter to Santa was mailed back to
me, unopened and sealed with a
stamp from the Royal Oak post
office. I was confused and hurt, and
I couldn't help f--eling betrayed by
my parents, who had allowed me to
believe in Santa for nearly 20 years.
Matt McKeown, an Engineering
junior, explains that the overabun-
dance of Santas at the malls is a
good way to learn Santa is a fake.
"As I grew older, I started to won-
der how Santa could be at so many
malls all at the same time, " he said.
It doesn't make sense, especially
when a Santa at one mall is fat, jolly
and white, and at another mall, he is
fat, jolly and black. As far as I know,
Santa cannot change races to fit the
needs of various children's beliefs.
Still, sometimes kids do not even
notice these things.
"I thought Santa was everywhere
because he was a magical dude.
Plus, as a kid, I would believe

If Santa isn't real, who the hell is this guy in the chimney?
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Cheer on your

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~ Annual

almost anything," McKeown adds.
Maybe sitting on Santa's lap sig-
nifies that he's no magical man who
fulfills the wishes of bright-eyed,
innocent children. Looking back on
it, it kind of makes me sick to think
that last year, Santa grabbed my ass
as I climbed off his lap. I remember
staring at him incredulously as he
hollered a "Ho, ho, ho," that reeked
of whiskey. It seems like Santa was
fulfilling some wishes of his own.
There are clues at home that also
give hints as to Santa's inexistence.
Take the cookies, for example. If
Santa is some fat guy who eats
cookies and milk at every house he
visits, then why does he bite off the
smallest piece? It's like Santa has
the eating habits of a supermodel,
especially when he does not take a
bite at all.
"I would always put out cookies
every Christmas Eve for Santa, but
one morning, they were still there.
That's how I knew. I felt really
betrayed and I never put cookies out
again," recalls Jessica Young, an
LSA senior.
Parents ruin the fun of Christmas
when they don't play along.
Sometimes, however, they get too
involved with the Christmas spirit
and blatantly lie to all of us, even to
those who already know Santa is not
real. These are annoying things that
parents do, like telling us to go to
bed early so Santa can come, while
winking at each other at the same
time.
Or, when you get a present that
has a gift tag reading "From Santa,
and it was a present that you picked
out at the mall with your mom.
Come on, parents, get a little more
creative. But, to be nice, it doesn't
hurt us to go along with the "fun"
(a.k.a. lies).
Lynise Carr, an LSA sophomore,
made the effort to pretend. "I went
along with the idea of Santa Claus,
even though I saw my parents put-
ting the presents under the tree. Up
until two years ago, I still got pres-
ents from Santa."
Now that I have finally realized
the truth about Santa, I guess it
means I have to close a whole chap-
ter on my childhood. There will be
no more sugarplums that dance
through my head, and now I do not
think that my parents use that weird,
velvet Santa suit for playing dress-
up. It's sort of sad to discover that
my beliefs were all based on a fanta-
sy and now I have to grow up. At
least I still have the Tooth Fairy.
D iLY A :
iih5 i~ it'" l:ii'hAi?.T"i:'$L)>?.
KEEPS G:;i~J, piii:v'jii;RG."{
'ALL YER LONG
." W.

Yeah. So he's a Saturday Night
Live rip-off. Who else am I
allowed to send a wish list
to? I'm Jewish. It's not like I can say,
"Hey Santa, can you spare a
minute?" Before I came to this uni-
versity, I always pined for a commu-
nity that celebrated Hanukkah, just
like me. I was the only menorah-
lighter in a high school of 2,500
kids.
My town is so small and so
Christian that for my 9th grade hon-
ors English course, I had to describe
heaven in 300 words or less. No
joke.
Now survey says that 33 percent
of my peers practice Judaism and I
am suddenly feeling claustrophobic.
We're everywhere. And I have no
more understanding of other reli-
gions than I did before. Is, there a
Kwanzaa Fairy? What is Ramadan,
really? Why aren't these doctrines
made more apparent on campus?
Is it only Christianity that makes
cute little jingles to promote mem-
bership? Silent night. Holy night.

Why do we Jews get stuck with "The
Dreidle Song?"
And why does the Super Wal-Mart
in my town only
.. carry Christmas
cards? "Do you
have non-denom-
inational holiday
cards?" I ask the
clerk. "What?"
she says, adjust-
ing her mullet.
So, whoever
you are, whatev-
er you do, please
Sarah forgive my reli-
Rubin gious ignorance
as I make a few
Pjeces (f requests for the
holiday season.
FlairPerhaps I should
take Ralph
Williams' religions class with the
rest of the universe. Maybe then I
would have an idea on who to write.
Sarah's Wish List:
No. 1: Please let the squirrels
vacate Ann Arbor by New Year's

A look at the
underside of U of M

Eve. Today my roommate
Amanda received a package from
her boyfriend. It was a bit mangled
and . the postman had scribbled:
Amanda, sorry about the package. It
was chewed by a squirrel.
(Seriously) - Walt-the-Postman.
I'm going to frame his note.
No. 2: Please let Christmas
lights stay in style. They are so
cool. Why can't we keep them up
year-round? People might argue that
we'd become tired of them, but I
don't think that this is the case.
Florida has the sun year-round and
people don't get tired of that. In fact,
if you stay in Michigan long enough,
you will notice that all of its old peo-
ple migrate to Florida, eventually.
They know what's up. Who says that
age doesn't correlate with wisdom?
No. 3: Please let the Lions

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make a comeback. Please. And
while we're on that note, please le1
Michigan win the Citrus Bowl.
No. 4: Please let someone besides
my mom, my roommates, Rachel,
Cody and Jose Jaime Tungol Il
read my column. If someone presti-
gious likes it, then I might be more
inclined to choose a major.
No. 5: Please let the relatives
be tolerable this year. I don't think<
my self-esteem can handle anothei
year of being told that my haircut is
boyish, or that my Pumas are "inter-
esting." I don't want to humor Auni
Edie as she complains for three
hours about her bunions, or Uncle
Barry as he complains for three
hours about Aunt Edie. Why do I
still address them as "aunt" anc
"uncle," anyway? And why do I still
sit at the goddamn kids' table? I'n

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