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Perspective: In praise of the low-maintenance Santa

Tomas Petz

Now, the hustle and bustle of the holidays take on a more desperate strain. There is too much to do, and not enough time to do it. However, one thing keeps my sanity intact: the knowledge that I have a low-maintenance Santa.

He made his appearance when my son was a toddler. While he was excited about Christmas morning, I clarified that Santa was going to leave his gifts, unwrapped, on the dining room table. The next morning, Santa did not disappoint, because spread on the table were books, toys, and clothing. The impact of seeing all these paper and ribbons made it easier for a two-year old to enjoy his presents. I began to appreciate the advantages of a low-maintenance Santa.

In addition to being low-maintenance, my Santa is eco-friendly. My son loves the initial impact of an array of goodies on the dining room table, and he relishes the luxury of examining each item. Some things are practical, like winter clothing, but the sight of all these possibilities arranged on a table in full view has been a Christmas tradition he enjoys. I am just happy there is less trash and recycling to deal with afterwards.

So, if the holidays have you tearing your hair out in frustration, may I suggest getting a low-maintenance Santa? It's good for the planet, and it's good for you too!

I'm Frances Jaeger, and that is my Perspective.

Frances Jaeger is an associate professor of Spanish at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include Latin American contemporary poetry as well as Caribbean and Central American literature.