Have you heard of Santa Claus?

Patti, my grandmother, is now living with my parents. Her sight and hearing are going, but otherwise she's sharp and in really good health. She makes us smile every day.

In the past, she wasn't much exposed to all this Christmas stuff. There's been a flurry of wrapping recently. The other day she came up to me and said, "I want to see one present. I want to know what you are packaging, what you are giving." To which my mother replied, "You'll have to wait for Christmas!" She was surprised we were unwrapping them here, so I realized she thought the presents were all meant to be given away. There's also been a bustle in the kitchen, which has been confusing as well. It's really fun to try to see this lavish holiday through her eyes. This morning we tried to explain the whole Santa thing.

Mom: Have you heard of Santa Claus?
Patti: What?! The clock?

Mom: No, Santa Claus. Can you see those stockings? (She points to the mantel.) Santa comes down the chimney and puts presents in the stockings.
Patti: What? It is dark.

Mom: How do you explain that Santa comes down the chimney?
Dad: (Long pause.) Say Maharishi Nicholas.

Mom: Maharishi Nicholas comes down the chimney and puts presents in these socks. (She holds one up for Patti to see.)
Dad (translating in Tamil): Brrrrrrrrrrrrr Maharishi Nicholas rmrmrmrmrmrmrmrmrmr stockings brrrrrrrrrrrrr presents.

Patti: Giggle giggle.



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