Wednesday, October 4, 2023

MendoMoments: The Warmth of Santa Claus Eminates from a Fort Bragg Storefront

Dozens of Santas eminate Christmas warmth in the storefront of Fort Bragg’s Furniture Mart [Picture provided by Mark Safron]

A chilly winter night. A downtown promenade, Store fronts decorated with tinsel and wreaths and model trains and Santa Claus. Fort Bragg resident Mark Safron captured this image of the Furniture Mart’s storefront packed with an assembly of Santas, glowing red and white provoking a nostalgia of simpler times.

Tear off the layers of post-modern skepticism. Take off the critical lens of a late-capitalist. For a moment, suspend the disbelief and behold the simple charm and magical thinking at the heart of Christmas.

Santa Claus. Father Christmas. St. Nick. Kris Kringle. This man solely dedicates himself to preparing gifts for the world’s children the year-round and then in the span of a 24-hour night delivers them with his sleigh and reindeer to every home around the globe.

Many of us remember a time in our childhood where this story was completely feasible. How else would the presents appear under the tree Christmas morning?

For every child, belief gives way to reality at some point. That might be the first fall-from-grace children experience in the American landscape. The realization that Santa Claus is not a real man, but a story.

But, what is the moral of that story? That good deeds get rewarded. That bad deeds get punished. Strip away the Coco-Cola franchising and Tim Allen movies and sitting-on-the-lap ritual, Santa Claus is an agent of karma. What goes around comes around. You get what you give.

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With that in mind, think about you got this year? What can that tell you about what you gave?

MendoMoments, is dedicated to showcasing the land, animals, and people that make up Mendocino County. All Mendocino County residents and visitors are invited to participate. Send photographs to matthewplafever@gmail.com including a description of what your photograph depicts, where it was taken, and any other important details.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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