His Nose is on a Rake

I was trying to teach “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” to a bunch of 6 year olds today, attempting to corrupt their little Ježišek loving minds with the more Americanized version of the holiday, and it was not going well. They were much more interested in running around the room, trying to hide, and sneaking around behind me, that was their favorite.
So, through constant repetition, I began to have a different opinion of the song. “He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake.” Well, first, that’s seriously kind of creepy, but in addition to that, it’s very similar to Christian thought. Jesus is theoretically watching you all the time, like Big Brother. In the Czech Republic, there is St. Nicholas (Mikulaš), who comes around on December 5th, along with devil and an angel, and the bad kids get put in a sack and taken away, which is a terrifying moment for some of the very young ones. Someone is always watching, your misdeeds will be punished, Christmas, which is really just a ripoff of Yule and Saturnalia, is all about control.
Anyway, when they weren’t running around, or hiding under their desks, some of them were sort of mumbling the words and I was coming frightfully close to losing my temper, but then, but then, as I was straining to hear them to see if any were actually getting it right, I heard, loud and clear “He sees you when you’re sleeping, his nose is on a rake,” and, well, I just started laughing.
Any illusion of discipline was shattered, but at least it all ended on a happy note.

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