UniMUM: The ‘Santa Claus’ Charade

column hannah wong pic

By Hannah Wong


I have no doubt that each and every one of us, once in a while, has put on a happy, enthusiastic face when underneath we want to cry, scream or remain happy expressing absolutely nothing. It’s not just the mask you wear, it’s the whole ‘shebang’. It’s the high tones, the pitch in your voice, the facial expressions that will leave your face aching afterwards. Your whole body is, generally, unnaturally very perky. By the end of the day, week, it’s physically and emotionally exhausted.

I’ve done it from time to time. Ok, I’m lying. I do regular matinee performances most, if not all, weekdays and the occasional night show. I’m finding that I’m doing it more often now under the pressure of being back at university while trying to balance my family life – which I’m yet to establish equilibrium. The weight hasn’t lifted like I thought it would but now it’s getting a little heavier. Assignments, work shop preparation, presentations, exams to prepare and complete, a baby to feed, bathe, cuddle and play with, friendships and a relationship to maintain, a house to clean which has been neglected and taken over by the Wildling and my books, folders and various papers scattered all over my couch.

Yes, my life is indeed a disorganised mess.

Well, to the friendly bystander, I’m to be admired, apparently. My classmates are under the impression I’ve got it all together – organised and studious – which is nice of them to think so, but it’s a total charade. I’m not even sure how I pulled that act but I know I was trying to avoid looking like I was tripping over my own face.

Am I being melodramatic? Maybe. But am I alone with this? No.

I come home to my Wildling and to the Rational One and then the pressure eases, I don’t have to pretend in that moment.

Getting into the spirit of things nonetheless, I have to ask, how does Santa Clause do it? Yeah, I know, I’m sure it’s a worldwide consensus that Mr. Clause does not exist. But if he actually does, how the hell does he do it? Of course, I’m forgetting he has the help of an infinite number of elves. Even so, the dude has a big job to do; the pressure on Christmas Eve must be excruciating having to be endlessly happy and cheery to spread the joy to thousands upon thousands of children. No wonder it’s a one day gig. The rest of the year he’s recovering from his ‘joyover’.

But I figure it’s all worth it, to make everyone feel the same way at Christmas – all warm and fuzzy, happy to be with family. It’s another role me and the Rational One will be officially playing this year and the many years after, this Santa Clause Charade.

Alternatively, if anyone knows where I could find a ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ Santa to take the Wildling to, let me know. This will be a role that won’t get tiring.

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