The Daddy Diaries: Stay-at-Home Santa

A South City father has an unexpected visit on Christmas Eve.

'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the house
The cries of a baby
Woke me and my spouse.
Our little guy was hungry
That much was clear
So my wife softly whispered,
"It's your turn, dear."

With a yawn and a stretch
I arose out of bed
To warm up a bottle
And get our baby fed.
He downed the whole thing
In just a minute or two,
Then his eyes grew heavy
And I knew what to do.

Back in his crib
I kissed him goodnight,
Then shut the door
As I turned out the light.
That's when I heard it
And it filled me with grief,
A sound from the living room;
Perhaps an intruder or thief?

But then I remembered
Ah, It's Christmas Eve!
It must be Santa, of course,
With lots of presents to leave.
So I tip-toed down the hallway
With deftness and stealth 
And peeked around the doorway
To see the fat man myself.

Indeed someone in red
Was putting gifts under the tree,
But it's funny; Santa's not as big
As I thought he would be.
And there was something more
That seemed a little weird,
Santa wore stiletto boots
And was missing the beard.

And that's when it hit me,
The figure that I saw
Wasn't Saint Nick at all
But his wife—Mrs. Claus.
So I burst into the room
And gave her quite a fright,
"Where's Santa?" I demanded
"And why are you here tonight?"

"What going on?" I continued,
"Is Santa injured or sick?
Perhaps something worse
Has befallen Ol' Saint Nick?
Maybe it was a heart attack?
He was rather chubby.
Oh please, Madame, tell me,
What happened to your hubby?"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," she gasped
"Just relax now, hun' "
With rosy cheeks and spectacles,
Silver hair in a bun;
Her eyes shone like snowflakes
And she smelled of candy canes.
"Santa's doing just fine," she said,
"Please allow me to explain."

"It was time for a change,
To turn tradition on its head.
So he's at home with the elves
And I'm in the sleigh instead.
Why not?, we wondered,
Who's to say we can't switch roles?
He's a Stay-at-Home Santa now
And I'm free of the North Pole!"

I listened to her words
But something within me
Couldn't see Santa at home
And his wife in a chimney.
It's all a bit progressive
And rather unorthodox,
Like pineapple on a pizza
Or wearing mismatched socks.

"It's not that I'm sexist," I said,
"And please don't think me rude,
But shouldn't the work of Christmas
Be handled by a dude?
I don't mean to be a bigot
Or a chauvinistic jerk,
But taking care of little elves
Well, that sounds like woman's work."

"Oh my," she replied,
With the bite of her lip.
"I don't have much time
So let me give you a tip.
All work we do is noble,
All work is dignified;
It's not the job but how it's done
That fills us with a certain pride."

"No job is too lowly 
For a man who is free
And real strength is seen
In his humility.
Believe me when I tell you
Santa works hard tonight;
Caring for your little ones
Is the toughest job in life."

And with that she was gone,
Up the chimney like she came,
Leaving only presents
And the scent of candy canes.
Standing there, I must admit,
I felt like a fool.
Maybe being a Stay-at-Home Santa
Is actually kind of cool.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Drew Himmelstein (Editor) December 23, 2011 at 08:56 PM
LOVE! And who knew Mrs. Claus wore stilettos?
Heidi Beck December 24, 2011 at 01:31 AM
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and your family, Mark! Your column has been a real gift to us Patch readers. Looking forward to more in the New Year!
Monica December 24, 2011 at 02:19 AM
That was great Mark. But, yes stilettos? Why not who says Mrs. Claus has to be old and frumpy. Merry Christmas Mark and family. ( Is there something I should ask your lovley wife? ) See you all soon.
Jamie White December 24, 2011 at 03:15 AM
Mark-- this is AWESOME!! Your writing is a gift : ) Merry Christmas to you and your family!!
Mark Cox December 25, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments and I'm so grateful to Drew and Patch for the opportunity to write these articles. It's been so much fun for me and I'm looking forward to see what 2012 has in store. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
Chris Corbett January 03, 2012 at 08:20 PM
your blog is and was way better than mine! keep 'em coming! please!


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