Sunday night was cold outside but cozy indoors. In the kitchen a big pot of beef stew was bubbling away in a terracotta cocotte in the oven. I had used Guinness and beef stock as a base, and lots of aromatic onions in with the beef and vegetables and herbs, so the fragrance was wafting through the house making everyone salivate, even the cat.
Meanwhile, in the living room, we were decorating the Christmas tree while a fire crackled in the fireplace and the Illico digital TV thingy poured cheesy Christmas music through the sound system.
Loyal readers know that I’m not too bright when it comes to song lyrics. Part of the problem is that I often don’t hear right. Other times, however, it’s because I don’t listen right.
On that cozy winter Sunday night, however, when I heard the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” as I was struggling with the tree lights, I had a revelation. I’ve heard that song every Christmas since I was a kid, and something about it always troubled me. In the song, a young kid sings happily about witnessing his mother making out with Santa Claus. She’s committing adultery — getting down and dirty with a fat man in a red suit — yet he’s not upset about it.
It would be different if there was some kind of black humour at work, but this is a simple and sentimental song about mommy going astray. Was I the only one who noticed this? Where was the outrage? Where were the cranky old radio phone-in ladies? Where were the beligerent old coots? Where was the Moral Majority and its shorts-in-a-twist whingings?
As I said, I had a revelation, and it was this: after hearing that song for 35 or more Christmases, I finally realized that Mommy’s bearded lover was actually Daddy done up in a Santa suit!
OK, all together now… Duh!
One more time… DUH!