Friday, December 12, 2014

There is No Santa Claus (Autism Edition)

 Remembering this incident from 2011 still makes me smile.

Since I wrote this post, I found out the identity of this young man - and he does have a developmental disability called autism, something that he shares with my brother in law.

Sometimes, people with different points of view from most of us have something to teach - as did this young man on a December afternoon in 2011.

Enjoy this special post.  Do you have a special person in your life?

There's No Santa Claus - So Suck It Up!

As regular readers of my blog know, I have a brother in law with a developmental disability called autism. 

As a result of my involvement with him and a couple of other individuals with autism over the years, I tend to notice when I see or hear someone with an apparent developmental disability when I am out in public.

I should have posted this a week ago when it happened but there was so much going on that I mentally shelved it.  Hence, my last Holiday post of 2011-a few days late.

Last Thursday, I spent my lunchtime in an office building, the Security Mutual building, in downtown Binghamton, NY.  Every year, right before Christmas, they have noontime caroling in their lobby.  I've gone every year for about 5 years now, and it is a treat.

This year, I was standing in the lobby, listening to the caroling, when I became aware of this young man singing along with the carolers. I couldn't help it; he was singing loudly and right in my ear.  Soon, it occurred to me that his voice, while enthusiastic, was also....flat when he wasn't singing.  This can be a sign of autism (and some other conditions).  My brother in law speaks in a very "flat" voice.

As the carolers switched from one song to the next, the young man sang right along, until they sang "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".  In the middle of the song there was an instrumental section - and the young man decided to add some commentary.

"There is no Santa Claus!" he announced to the crowd.  "So suck it up!"

There were a couple of men, and a woman, standing right next to me and all of them were grinning.

It really was the highlight of the concert to me. (sorry, carolers and musicians.)  I don't know if the young man had autism, but he certainly knew how to speak his mind.

Tonight, I went to You Tube to see if there was video of this year's concert.  There wasn't, but there were several videos of the caroling from last year.   (The music selection tends to remain the same).  If you watch the video at the beginning of the post, you'll find the sound quality is terrible but you will get a little taste of the historic lobby and the love the carolers put into their singing.  I hope you enjoy it.

And while you are at it, remember:  there is no Santa Claus.  So suck it up!


  1. I wonder if there were any children in the audience. For some reason, adults want to protect their belief in this kind, jolly man who appears in a red suit just before Christmas. I'm sure they all 'know' there's no Santa Claus. At some point, they give up on their pretense.

  2. Hi, In our family it was about whether the tooth fairy was real or not.

  3. Hi Alana,

    I always enjoy your posts! Today's was awesome :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts on realizing there is no santa so SUCK IT UP! LOL

  4. Hey Alana, I always look forward to reading your posts. I haven't been able to post for a few days because I've been busy.
    Ha! I hope there weren't too many children in the crowd!

  5. Love it! Reminds me of a time I was working in an office, and my coworker, although she had lived here for several years, was from another country. She was complaining about some recent policy changes in our work area. I just looked her and said "Suck it up, Buttercup, it's not going to get any better" She looked at me so confused. "What do you mean, Suck it Buttercup?" We had a good laugh after I explained the expression to her. Years later we still kid each other, and whenever the other is having a bad day, you can count on hearing "Suck it up, Buttercup!"

  6. Have you ever head of Curemark? They are headquartered right here in New York, in Rye. They are a drug research and development company focused on the treatment of neurological and other diseases, specifically autism. Here is a Youtube video you may be interested in I would love to know your thoughts. :)

    P.S. I love this marble lobby; a perfect place to spend lunchtime!

  7. An important thought you have shared here.
    Santa Claus is within us; can emerge for the world if we let it out.
    Merry Christmas to you & your family :)

  8. Cute story. I never told my children there WAS a Santa Claus, thus avoiding having them find out I lied. Instead I'd say, "This is a story about Santa Claus." They understood it was a story just like fairy tales and Disney movies.


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