TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town

As a kid, a lot of stuff confused me. Some of it centered on Santa Claus and Christmas. Part of it was the usual confusing kid stuff. How can Santa and the reindeer fly? How does Santa get down the chimney? How does he get UP the chimney? What if we don’t have a chimney?

My confusion wasn’t helped at all by the Christmas song “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,” popularized when I was young by my favorite cowboy star Gene Autry. Not to date myself, or anything.

What troubled me was not the mildly threatening line, “You better watch out, You better not cry, Better not pout, I’m telling you why …”  Or the one that seems a little creepy, even to some adults. “He sees you when you’re sleeping, He knows when you’re awake.”

What disturbed me was the title itself. Especially the “to town” part. You see, when I was very little my family lived on a farm, in the country. There was a big divide between the country and town. It was a big deal to go to town, to shop or to see a movie. “Town” seemed far away from our house some times, even though, physically, there was only about seven miles between the two.

So, my reasoning went like this. If Santa Claus is coming to town, does that mean he’s not coming to our farmhouse in the country?

It was troubling. To this day, I don’t like the song. At all. If I hear it on the radio, I’ll turn it off.

Ginny thinks it’s part of the reason I should spend some time on the couch, in therapy.  She’s usually right about these things.

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