Saturday, December 22, 2012

Scary Santas

         While  looking for mistletoe pictures for the last post, I ran across some photos I took of Santa decorations the first year we lived in France.

          They were frankly a bit startling for an American raised on jolly images of Santa:

"His eyes—how they twinkled!
His dimples—how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

          The Santas I saw in France were emphatically not jolly. Even the grave Santa of my father's youth, back in the misty beginnings of time, before jolly had been invented, looks positively ebullient next to the Santas the city fathers of Tours had chosen to decorate their public spaces with.

A little solemn, perhaps, but still festive.
          The Santas I saw in Tours were…sinister. Faceless, gaunt creatures they were, clambering up the sides of buildings like burglars, peering disturbingly through people's windows, inching across electrical lines like a SWAT team Christmas party run amok.

That's not Santa; it's a cat burglar!
Peeping Santa? Euuuuww!
The photo is a bit busy, so I highlighted the disturbing vision of Santa
creeping across an electrical line, apparently intent on mayhem. (Detail below.)
Detail from the photo above. He doesn't even have a face!
Dementor Santa? I suspect so.
          Even the Santa that really is supposed to be jolly, mounted above a mall, looks rather sinister:

This is a guy who eschews the lump of coal and simply EATS naughty children.
          There are many things I miss about France, but at this time of year, I am oh so very grateful to be back in the land of the jolly Santas.

1 comment:

  1. I remembered when you posted those photos originally, before I scrolled down far enough to see them on this post. "Disturbing" is an understatement.

    What I liked best about you being in Tours was the chocolates. Someday I must go there to get some more, but it certainly won't be at Christmas.