Sunday, November 22, 2009

Santa at the Mall and the Archetype

Some people aren't serious enough about taking care of their kids. This photo was emailed to me and I am using it again, because it illustrates a problem in this country. As Santa, I'm seeing a lot of it. We must all take responsibility for the children. In short, I'm taking my Santa duties to brighten the lives of all the children I encounter very seriously.

Some children are filled with desires for presents. The Wii is very popular this year; Dsi is often repeated, because it has the music options. Musical instruments are desired by more 7 and 8 year olds than I would have thought. Barbie is still popular. Having a special gift for Mother or Father was the uppermost concern to about one-third. Some children were brilliant shining with good will, intelligence and creativity, while others screamed in terror as their parents forced them towards the strange guy in red.

My prejudice against Santa comes from the kitschy Coca-Cola Santa I grew up with. The roots of Santa are deep, going back to Scandanavian, German and Celtic gods. It turns out he is an ancient archetype, and can be found in many forms in many cultures. He carries a sack and arrives at each village with a jangle of bells or a flute trill. Kokopelli was thought to be a hunchback, because of the bag he carried. Hotei also carried a begging bowl. He ate the food people gave him, and used money place in his bowl to buy toys and treats for kids.

The image at the top of this post was captured by an RMSP student, while I was modeling for a class. The beard is longer now, and it really works for the Santa gig. I don't have the belly, however, and the pillow we used yesterday was uncomfortable. My ho,ho,hos are improving, but I can't do them and smile at the same time, which is what I am required to do most. My face is already half frozen. The Santa suit is so hot I'm thinking of doing a weight loss video entitled Sweating with Santa. Of course, the weight loss will be due to dehydration. Note to self: keep water handy.

Life is looking good. I invited the American Humanics Student Association to share the Palace with my photo show 5-8 pm, during the First Friday Gallery Walk in December. They needed a venue for a benefit. They bring a raffle, two bands and Mayor Engen to the event. How does it get better? Mark December 4 on your calendar, come see my photos of Missoula Women Making Music, hear Butter make music and meet the mayor.


  1. Love your Santa perspectives - keep them coming!

  2. I like the Santa-Hotei comparison. I recall we talked about this the other's a picture of my father's Zen master, the guy who gave him the name "Hotei":

    As always, great work up on here. I hope you don't mind if TSMF lifts a couple of photos for our myspace? (We'll give you full credit and throw your link up)