Last night I watched "Santa Claus is Coming To Town" . . . you know . . . the one with the Heat Miser and the Cold Miser. I have always loved this show since I was a kid. And ever since I was a kid, I thought it was completely fictional. I mean WHO would ever want to prevent Christmas from happening???
Well, last night was an eye opener. After 30 'something' years, it gets brought to my attention that the story is based on facts - not fiction. OK, I know there isn't really a Santa that comes down the chimney. And if there is . . . he has some explaining to do because he obviously has me confused with some 'bad' folks. Anyway, my husband laughed at me last night when I so innocently showed my complete ignorance to the evil ways of the world in the past.
You see, my husband grew up in Hungary - behind the Iron Curtain. Not that he lived through much of this himself, but his parents got a taste of what it's like to live with restricted freedoms. He explained to me that his parents lived through this period of time when Christmas was not "sanctioned by the government." In other words, they were not allowed to openly celebrate the holiday. Any Christmas spirit had to be kept under wraps in the privacy of their own homes. In fact, they felt like criminals for celebrating the holiday.
So as we watched my favorite little show, things kept dawning on me . . . the evil police man with the German accent (never thought twice about that). The whole tradition of hanging stockings by the fireplace. I didn't know that people actually did this to DRY their socks!! My husband had a ball laughing at me. He asked me "Where have you been?" and my answer was "Right here in the sheltered USA, living my sheltered little life." Makes me realize how lucky we are -even without any presents under the tree. Sometimes it's hard to understand how good you have it until you see things from a whole different perspective.
By the way, one other thing I learned last night was that December 5th is the day that many Europeans celebrate "Father Christmas" or "St. Mikulas". On the night of the 4th kids would shine their shoes and leave them by the door. The good kids would get presents in their shoes. The bad ones would get coal. My husband knows all about the latter part! So I got up this morning and checked my shoes . . . nothing. But I guess that's better than coal.