“Ruined Childhoods” is a Wattpad user-hosted competition centred on ruining childhoods. Although I’m the host, I’m also writing for the fun of it!
The first prompt is “A Festival”. Christmas and summers may have connotations of togetherness, fun games, and too much good food, but the competition’s theme is to ruin them all.
My personal favourite holiday, even as a child, is Christmas. Holidays, foods, lots of merriness, pretty decorations and lights — what’s not to love?
I’ve always found the concept of Father Christmas/Santa Claus a bit unnerving, though. My parents never spun the story of an old man living in the arctic with elves churning out presents, riding reindeer sleighs through the sky, sneaking down impossibly tiny chimneys, and trespassing into homes to dump presents to unsuspecting children. They told me the story, but never pretended it was real, so it was just a story to me.
When I grew up a little more, when I was into the age of ‘Stranger Danger’, I realised some kids actually believed in that story, and I found that creepy. He may leave presents but he’s sneaking around in every single child‘s home on Christmas Eve! I’m sure no amounts of cookies and milk can justify that.
As this story came into my mind during my watch of Pitch Perfect 2, Christmas songs inevitably came into play, which became the basis of my horror short story “Santa Claus is Coming”. In the song Santa Claus is Coming to Town, the lyric goes ‘He knows if you are sleeping; he knows if you’re awake; he knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness’s sake!’
It made me wonder why the singer/speaker was so keen for the listener to be good. What will happen if they aren’t good?
Could it be because Santa isn’t just a friendly overweight gifting old man?