As I mentioned a while back, I went to a fundraiser recently where a friend of mine dressed up as Santa. He was quite believable, and had a steady stream of tots waiting in line to sit on his lap and tell him what they wanted for Christmas.
I saw him again last night (in his civilian clothes, this time) and he mentioned that this year, he was amazed at how subdued the children were. He’s been doing the Santa thing for many years, and each year, the kids are always boisterous and excited and ever-willing to rattle off a long list of things that they want him to bring.
Not this year.
This year, the kids were hesitant to ask for anything at all, and when they did, it was just one item. When he’d ask, “What would you like me to bring you this year?”, many were content to leave it up to Santa. “I don’t know,” they’d say, “maybe a doll, if you can? Whatever you bring would be good.”
He couldn’t believe it, and feels certain that this is yet another indicator of the economic times we live in. The children are apparently quite aware of how difficult it will be this year for so many families, and they are reluctant to get their hopes up for anything.
While it’s certainly comforting to see holiday greed take a back seat, it is a sad reminder of the far-reaching effects that we all feel during an economic crisis.