At this festive time of year, when the mayhem and merriment seem too much to bear and the to-do list is longer than the gift receipts, I think of the one woman who inspires me to keep calm and carry on: Mrs. Claus.
You know, they say that behind every great man is an even greater woman. In the case of jolly old Santa, Mrs. Claus is the epitome of the strong woman behind this cholesterol-challenged man. Imagine what a day in her life is like.
Mrs. Claus’s fridge calendar must be a colour-coded masterpiece of organization. It has to be. How else could she do it all? Because we all know she does it all.
I adore Santa, but I am willing to bet he is a high-maintenance spouse. Given the nature of his stressful job, he needs an emotionally stable woman. Since no such creature exists, he chose to marry a dutiful woman who quietly supports his neurosis by keeping his work and home life balanced.
The Claus homestead surely must be worthy of Martha Stewart, beautifully decorated and filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread and sauces brewing. But Mrs. Claus uses her bread-maker to get the job done nowadays and has the crock-pot cooking dinner because it’s not like she has time to cook spare ribs any other way.
Like most women who have entrepreneurial spouses, I bet she is the bookkeeper, human resource manager and social committee of his enterprise. With a small army of elves to manage, imagine that drama.
From online banking and remembering the birthdays of the elf staff, vet schedules for the reindeer and booking Santa’s cardiologist appointments, Mrs. Claus probably also monitors his blood pressure and remembers to get the red suit dry-cleaned before every public appearance (and I’m willing to bet chimney soot doesn’t come out easily).
It can’t be easy to be married to a celebrity like Santa Claus either. Everybody wants a piece of her man. Just think of all those young girls trying to sit on his knee. It’s appalling.
Yet, I am confident that Mrs. Claus would not be jealous. She would be comfortable in her skin, proud of her curves. She would be happy with her soft white hair. She knows being a postmenopausal woman is sexy, because it comes with wisdom, confidence and ultimately, control of the television remote. (Santa can’t stay awake past 9:30 pm anymore and that’s when the good television shows come on).
I picture Mrs. Claus as being the model of an old-fashioned woman in modern times. Don’t let her dowdy costume fool you. I firmly believe Mrs. Claus has a closet of clothes with the tags still on them hiding in the back behind her flowery dresses where her husband cannot see her indulgences. She might be a proper, upstanding woman, but she is a female after all.
Mrs. Claus must have a stash of chocolates in the cupboard over the fridge and every once in awhile I hope she ends her day with a shot of Baileys in her hot cocoa, not because she needs it, but because she can. She deserves it.
You may say Mrs. Claus is a fictional character, but I know better. Mrs. Claus is every woman and she is so much more than the woman behind the man.
This Christmas, while I wait for Santa to make his way to our home, I am going to raise a toast to Mrs. Claus, a class act of a lady without a first name.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.