Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Red Socks, Santa and the Smell of...

Christmas is for everyone, most especially for department store owners.

Warning: Severe rambling ahead.

As a little kid, Christmas to me meant breathing cool air, eating ham in pineapple juice, listening to the sound of feel good carols and showing goodwill to all. As a parent, recollections of Christmas are now peppered with memories of sardine cans the size of malls, filled with irate shoppers smelling of arm (pit) sweat in mile long lines to cashiers dressed like Santa’s haggard little elves.

This year I was officially inducted into the arm (pit)-scented society as I squeezed into congested mall aisles. My mission was to look for a Santa cap, red shirt, shorts, sneakers and knee high red and white striped socks.

The socks were the hardest to find. Every school had the “original” idea of making all their kids wear the same socks for their school programs so by the time I hit the shelves, there were only green striped socks for green elves. But my daughter is a red elf!

Good thing the man in the red suit himself seemed to be trailing my route as I ransacked every major and minor store for the seemingly mythical red socks. He was trying to cheer me on, I say!

There he was on a stand in one mall playing the saxophone. I drew close to listen to some uplifting music to inspire me in my futile search for red socks. To my surprise he didn’t seem to be playing a popular Christmas song. In fact, it sounded faintly like Careless Whisper.

In another store, I came across the man in the flesh, all 4ft. 11 inches of him, dressed in a suit so thin he looked like he was going to shiver from the cold in a tropical country. He was carrying a placard, making him look more like the bearer of bad news, “Repent! The end is nigh!”

“Will you put my photo on Facebook?” Santa asked. “Why sure Santa, so that the world may know how you've been reduced to a shadow of your former self and into a department store employee.”

Several more stores and Santas later and I started wondering where the guy whose birthday it is we’re supposed to be commemorating on the 25th was. I suppose Santa is the preferred bearer of commercial good cheer because store employees in newborn swaddling cloths will probably sell fewer red socks, green socks, toys and whatnot.

I finally found a pair of red socks in a quiet Chinese-owned store that didn’t seem to be celebrating Christmas. Great. Now I can tell my arm (pit)-scented community members where they can buy their socks so they don’t have to go through the hoops I’d been through and run the risk of losing their Christmas spirit.


  1. I learned a long time ago that Christmas was masked (or replaced) by the spirit of commercialism and consumerist ideals rather than the season of giving and thanks. The best we can do is try to keep the faith like you ma'am who sallys forth through the armpit infested sardine cans so you can give your kid a chance for some of her own nostalgic christmas memories. :D

  2. hahaha, you're so funny. where have you been all this time? i felt i've missed out on something good, hahaha. Thanks for visiting us at MaiThreeBoyz. I'm bookmarking your site and will back read one of these days. thanks again for the visit.

  3. Haha. Everything for my kids Mary. I most especially want them to love Christmas for the right reasons.

    Hi Mai. Thanks for that. I would definitely appreciate you dropping by again... and I will revisit your little nook as well :)

  4. hahahaha! amusing post Nins! can't help but smile. In the quest of the most sought-after red socks on Christmas! Probably Santa went through the same hoops that's why he lost a lot of weight! In that case I am considering going that route. lol!

  5. Musta? Sana ay ok lang kyo matapos ang bagyo. Kasama kayo sa aming panalangin. Laging maingat.Pagpalain ka at ang iyong buong sambahayan! Zkey

  6. Zkey maraming salamat at naalala mo pa kami. Sad sad days for Northern Mindanao... Okay lang pamilya ko pero yung iba... ang daming namatay... ang daming mga batang namatay... :( Kaya di ko magawang maging masaya.

    Salamat talaga sa prayers...

  7. Careless Whisper? WTF! Sorry but come on, it's Christmas! :(

    Masyado na kasing commercialized lahat pero syempre Christmas is different in our country, di naman si Santa sentro ng ating Christmas spirit. Nandyan pati whole family so di ko talaga naiisip si Santa Claus pag Noche Buena nor Misa de Gallo XD

  8. Agree ako diyan Boris. Talagang hindi pang Pinoy ang concept ni Santa kaya di ko maintindihan bakit pinagpipilitan siya sa atin ng mga tindahan. I have nothing against Santa pero ang hirap lang mag connect sa kanya as a Pinoy


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