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Iraqi Santa Claus

in Parenting

My three year old and I were at Target this morning getting supplies for the weekend’s camping trip. He is a very typical preschooler in that he loves to talk… to anyone… whether they will listen or not. He must have told 50 total strangers, “I’m going camping tonight. Are you?”

Photo by brokenarts on

My son has a smile that covers his whole body. He just glows like Rudolph’s nose when he is happy. And today, he was.

As I grabbed some hamburger buns, he starts singing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” This is a favorite of his no matter the season. Then I hear, “Mom, LOOOOOOOOK, it is Santa Claus!”

I look up and see  Little Debbie’s box adorned with the jolly fat guy and I say, “it sure is, Sweetie.”

Then he says, “No! There!” And I follow his gaze down the aisle and see him pointing at a Middle Eastern man with a long beard wearing full red garb.

I imagine my face turned as red as his tunic as I immediately grabbed my son’s finger, lowered it and said, “Baby, it’s not nice to point.”

In return, my son raised his voice and said, “Hey! Hey! Hey you! Are you Santa Claus? I just singed you coming to town!”

My embarrassment quickly faded into humiliation.

I could not shush him fast enough, but then, to my surprise the gentleman looked up at us and his obvious frustration transitioned to a smile when he caught a glimpse of my naively happy son with his smile from ear to ear. And the man, said, “Ro Ro Ro” as he grabbed his belly and walked away.

It was my own mini Christmas Story in the middle of Target.

As the man vanished from view, three other women on the aisle and I all started laughing.

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