The Sad Saga of Suicide Santa

by Barb, somewhere on the road between Boston and Key West

Suicide Santa

Suicide Santa

Christmas is my favorite holiday and I love all the traditions and rituals, both high and low, big and small. One of the great things about spending time with loved ones over the holidays is the common experiences that build up, which provide fodder for wild stories and quiet conversations for years and years to come. One of the small traditions at our house is the still evolving Saga of Suicide Santa.

Suicide Santa is a small pewter ornament who always goes near the top of the tree. Because he is tiny and unshiny, he was often overlooked when it came to taking ornaments off the tree. For several years, every time we dragged the tree down the front steps, we’d hear,

Suicide Santa in situ

Suicide Santa in situ

Thunk.
Thunk.
Thunk
Clink.

And there he’d be on the step.

“Oh, we forgot Santa again,” we would say, blaming ourselves.

After that we were more conscious. “Did you find Santa?” my husband, Bill, would ask, as we took down the tree.

“I can’t find him anywhere,” I’d complain. “He must have burrowed his way to the center of the tree.”

The tree

The tree

Thunk.
Thunk.
Thunk.
Clink.

Santa started getting farther and farther from the house and closer and closer to the curb where the Public Works truck would pick up the tree. But we always found him–on the walk, on the curb, and once, memorably, in the driveway, in April, after the snow had melted.

“He’s doing it on purpose,” Bill said. “I think he’s trying to do away with himself.”

After that, Bill became even more vigilant, but for me, bitterness set in.

“Did you take Suicide Santa off the tree?” Bill would ask.

“I’m sure I did.”

“Is he in the ornament box?”

“I’m certain he is, but I’m not pawing through all those layers looking for that damn thing.”

suicidesanta5

Suicide Santa on the sidewalk

Thunk.
Thunk.
Thunk.
Clink.

Of course, there are more benign explanations. Perhaps he doesn’t like us and is trying to find a home where he’ll be more appreciated. After all, I’ve just said he is small and dull and a pain in my @#$, which are probably the worst things you can say about a Christmas decoration. Maybe I should have titled this post “The Exciting Escapades of the Escaping Ornament.”

Suicide Santa does it again

Suicide Santa does it again

But Santa is stuck with us, and we are stuck with him. I took the final photo here as we got into the car to head south. I scooped Santa off the sidewalk and put him in my bag. Can Santa survive and 3500 mile round-trip journey and find his way back to the Christmas ornament box?

Stay tuned.

Readers, do you have a silly, idiosyncratic holiday tradition? We’d love to hear about it!

This entry was posted in Barb's posts by Barbara Ross. Bookmark the permalink.

About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries: Clammed Up, Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn and Iced Under. The sixth book, Stowed Away, will be published in December, 2017. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com.

17 thoughts on “The Sad Saga of Suicide Santa

  1. So funny, Barb! At our house, we set out the creche scene I grew up with, plaster figures my mother had carefully painted, with somber and adoring shepherds, wise men, Mary, and Joseph all gazing at the baby Jesus in a rough-hewn open stable. But peeking out from a roosting bar is white plastic chicken. A tiny Sesame Street Bert figure looks google-eyed from behind the donkey. Orange Pokey stands next to the camel. And Garfield grins from the roof next to several little red yarn elves. It’s an all-inclusive scene!

  2. Great story.

    Each year my sister and I send each other new ornaments (and socks and silly tissues, but that’s another story). I hate the ornaments she sends me, but I’ve never had the nerve to tell her. They now live in their own box in the attic, labeled DO NOT USE.

  3. Too funny! I can just picture that Santa crawling deeper and deeper into the Christmas tree. You should paint his Santa hat red so you can find him.

  4. I just remembered ornaments we made as children, cut-out Christmas scenes inside empty half-eggshells, covered with plastic wrap and glitter, with pipe cleaner hangers — cuter than my description. So fragile . . . Mom kept them safe for many years of Christmas trees, but they’ve probably disappeared by now.

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