billy name as santa claus

Linette and I haven’t decided yet what we’re going to tell Clementine about Santa Claus. Right now, if we had to make a decision, I’d say that we’d probably err of the side of honesty and tell her that he doesn’t exist (except in peoples’ hearts). We haven’t been any hurry to tell her though. We’ve kind of just been waiting to see how things evolve naturally. So far, she knows what Santa looks like, and that he has something to do with Christmas, but that’s about it.

A few nights ago, we were all watching a documentary on Warhol together, and when Billy Name came up on the screen, taking responsibility for introducing silver foil and amphetamines to the Factory, Clementine ran up to the television and said, “Santa Claus!” Linette thinks that we were clear with her that he wasn’t Santa, but I’m not so sure. I know we told her that his name was Billy Name, but I’m pretty sure we did so in the way one would say, “His real name is Kris Kringle,” just substituting in “Billy Name” for “Kris Kringle.” (Linette thinks that we were really clear that he was not Santa, by any name.) Anyway, the idea of raising her to think that Santa, instead of living at the North Pole surrounded by elves, was an artist and photographer who worked in the bathroom of an art space known as the Factory, surrounded by junkies, drag queens and the members of the Velvet Underground, kind of appeals to me. I doubt I’ll pursue it, but it’s an interesting idea.

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10 Comments

  1. Lisa
    Posted December 21, 2006 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Ah… but he does exist. I ran into him this morning at Bombadill’s. He said he hadn’t received my Christmas list, and I said I hadn’t been very good so I didn’t think I should send one. He reminded me that we are all good in our hearts.

    Yes folks…this is a TRUE story. So I’m afraid you’ll have to tell her he does exist, but he didn’t say where he was headed after Bombadill’s, and thus you might not be able to find him by Christmas. On second thought…don’t tell her that part.

  2. Stacey
    Posted December 22, 2006 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    We had a similar dilemma with our two kids. You don’t want to lie, but you can’t deny that there is magical fun in Santa. We decided not to do really anything, and that’s all it takes because we’re surrounded by Santa and they soak it all up. So, in our own little heads we decided to think of Santa as a metaphor for “mom and dad.” And when we told our older son about it, that’s how we said it. We didn’t want to tell him that he’d been duped, we said “we’re Santa”. It seemed gentler.

    Last year my younger son (at age 6) was told by his older brother point blank that there is no Santa. He would have none of it. Recently he’s been peppering me with questions at the most inopportune moments, like at a checkout counter. “Is there a Santa?” “Where do babies come out?”

    He insists there has to be a Santa because we wouldn’t have the money to buy all the presents. My boys appreciate a bit of freaky, so this year when they open their gifts that came from the Rocket and the Vault of Midnight I think Billy Name as Santa could fit right into our scenario.

  3. Ted Glass
    Posted December 22, 2006 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    It could be worse. My children spent several years leaving cookies and milk out for Al Goldstein.

  4. Karen
    Posted December 23, 2006 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    That’s right – the last time I was talking to you (Stacey) your son came up and asked you if you believed in Santa. Clever strategy, actually, he’ll presumably keep asking until you break.

    I spent most of my sixth year resolving this existential crisis. In the end, my competing need to believe and the ensuing disproof of existence shook me to my very core and made me the person I am today – supposedly cynical but an easy mark for the snake oil salesmen of the world, be they corrupt mechanics or pyramid schemers.

    So good luck, all you parents out there…

  5. Stacey
    Posted December 25, 2006 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    You’re right, I broke. I hope it’s not too late to save him from becoming a future Amway distributor.

  6. mark
    Posted December 26, 2006 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Corrupt mechanics and pyramid schemers? Do tell.

  7. Karen
    Posted December 27, 2006 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s not a pyramid, actually – it’s really more like a chain, or maybe a network…

    Stacey, I bet your son likes bright shiny coins. Can I get his email address?

  8. gg ggggg
    Posted December 14, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    So, does she still think Billy Name is Santa?

  9. myomy
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    You couldn’t have picked someone farther away from all the fictional qualities of Santa Claus. Try Satan Claus to describe this one.

  10. Posted December 20, 2010 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know Mr. Name. I take it, however, that you do. Is that right?

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