Poll reveals Santa-believers' views

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Jolly old St. Nick gets plenty of publicity this time of year.

He's on the minds of children and those parents who spend every December running around like overworked elves trying to secure the last toy and get it wrapped in time for Christmas.

It's not surprising that Americans have plenty to say about the bearded man in the red suit.

A recent poll disclosed Americans' image of the private side of St. Nick.

When he's not busy being Santa, most Americans believe the guy drives a pickup truck, works as a motivational speaker and relaxes to easy-listening and classical music.

Few think he would get around in a sports car.

The real question in my mind is whether he puts up Christmas lights. I don't see how he would have the time, what with running the gift-making factory at the North Pole and worrying about global warming.

Many Americans believe Santa would vote as an Independent.

Republican and Democratic party operatives would no doubt dispute such findings, arguing that their parties can deliver the goods. But they don't need to worry.

Most Americans wouldn't want to elect someone who goes around wearing a red suit all the time. And we're not sure about entrusting our political system to elves, although it probably would make for more entertaining fare on C-SPAN.

Pollsters surveyed 1,043 "Santa believers" across the nation earlier this month. But even with all of our glowing outdoor lights and our "Santa stops here" sign, no one called our house.

Of course, they might easily have missed us this time of year.

Our lights may be on, but we're often out soaking up that holiday cheer.

It's that wonderful time of the year when your children's scout groups, your kids' school concerts and other assorted events keep you hopping.

In our family, Joni is the social secretary. She keeps tabs on all the children's events and makes sure we all get there on time.

Without her time management, Christmas probably would pass us by.

But I'm convinced that we could do with some elves in our house. It sure would make it easier to get all the presents wrapped, our tree decorated and Christmas cards mailed.

We still haven't found time to send out our Christmas cards, but it's on our to-do list. It's just getting time to do it that is the problem.

We're too busy making our list and checking it twice.

It would be a whole lot easier if we just started working on our Christmas cards and decorations in July. That way, we might actually be on schedule when the holiday season rolls around.

As for the poll, it would mean little to our youngest daughter.

Six-year-old Bailey isn't concerned about Santa's transportation. She figures Santa does his best driving in a sleigh. She likes the reindeer.

She also enjoys a few presents from Santa.

Of course, Bailey, being a December child, gets plenty of presents.

She celebrated her birthday last week at a gymnastics studio where she and her girlfriends tumbled to their hearts' delight, and ate white and chocolate Scooby-Doo birthday cake.

Bailey also enthusiastically opened her presents.

Such Kodak moments make you feel proud to be a parent.

Being a parent also puts you on a first-name basis with Santa, which is a good thing even in the middle of a busy holiday season.

Best of all, he just might let you share the milk and cookies.

Mark Bliss is a staff writer for the Southeast Missourian.

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