Really, how creepy is that notion?
I love Christmas, I really do. But as a child, the voyeuristic aspect of Saint Nick perturbed me a little. I'd always sit and think, "Is Santa watching me tinkle? Wouldn't that make him naughty--a pedophile, even--and therefore a hypocrite?" Obviously, my soliloquies would've been worded a bit differently when I was five, but you get my drift.
I'd also wonder, since he was always watching, if he could read minds too. Because sometimes, actions that would presumably place one on the "naughty" list had the very nicest of intentions (perhaps why the road to Hell is paved as such). When I knocked out Marcus on the playground? That was because he kicked a soccer ball right in my face, dude. I was just teaching him a lesson, and I really didn't mean to punch him that hard. All the times I was less than polite to telemarketers? They called during dinner time, and I'm Italian. We don't like being interrupted when food is in front of us.
My pondering intensified when, at six years old, my parents took my brother and me to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. It was a fine show, no doubt, but the Santa in the lobby? His beard fell off. When I paired this potentially damaging visual with the observation I'd made that his handwriting on the gifttags was eerily similar to my mom's, I was absolutely devastated. I attempted to launch a miniature coup d'etat with nearby children until he reaffixed his facial tufts (I could still see the adhesive) and my parents, hawk eyes that they had, steered me towards the exit before I could make a scene.
I knew that lying was naughty and that I should tell the truth to the other kids (the same mode of thinking ironically almost got me kicked out of Sunday school a few years later, but that's another entry entirely), but the look in that Santa's eyes broke my heart. He looked frightened of the little girl with pigtails and her front teeth missing who barely came up to the red velvet knee she sat upon. I felt sorry for him.
This put me in a bit of a moral dilemma: I could be an honest, upstanding child and break the news to the rest of my kindergarten class--or I could keep the secret, and the magic, alive. I chose the latter, mostly because I didn't want to ruin anyone's holiday--and also for own smug ego, so that a few years later when they came to their realizations on their own, I could sit and think to myself, "Old news!"
The moral of the story? "Naughty" and "nice" are subjective. This year, do what feels right.
For me, that'd be Lenny Kravitz.
*By Jess, who really likes the carol "The Little Drummer Boy," for a few reasons... A ruh-pum-pum-pum!