I've never written a Christmas anything - Somehow I never feel it in a way that I care to express in poem or story. Believe me, I love the holiday now, haven't always but now it is very special to me. Thanks for this go to my wonderful wife, who indeed is a Saint.
I recall in the second grade where I was and what I was doing when someone, who shall remain nameless but not blameless, told me there was no Santa Claus. I'll call her Kate C. - She seemed to not be bothered by this seeming fact but was finding me silly for still believing in such a Spirit. Apparently her older brother, whom well call Dave C., had recently told her while her parents did nothing to try to keep up the so-called charade. It was after gym class, we were standing by our lockers a few feet down from the Art room, which was taught by Mrs. Painter (no kidding). She was wearing a pink shirt and had her sholder length blond hair pulled up, I was wearing a blue button down shirt and jeans (then I always wore some shade of blue which had increasingly grown darker until it became black and stayed there) I believe Kate was also in blue jeans. We had been friends but this new information made me distrust her for the remainder of my childhood. We didn't really ever speak in HS - so really the friendship ended there. I was heart broken.
Later that evening, still very upset and inconsolable, I finally came out with what I had been told. My parents were seemingly let down that the magic was gone while my brother acted like it was no big deal ( I secretly believe that he still believed secretly then but he was too macho to let on), I was sitting in my Dad's chair at the kitchen table. My Mother sat down and did for me then what will always be the greatest gift she has ever given me - she told me this story...
"when I was a little girl, I left my bicycle out in the driveway. My father ran it over and told me that I would have to buy my own if I wanted another - (interjection - he was a complete bastard who did horrible things to all his daughters), I couldn't earn enough money and really wanted a new bike. I wrote to Santa when it came to Christmas time and prayed every night for a new bicycle, it was my only escape. On Christmas day there were a few presents under the tree, a new doll, some clothes but no bicycle, I was devastated. After we were done with the presents and went to the kitchen to make breakfast we saw a large gift there, wrapped in shiny red paper with the biggest bow I had ever seen. It was obvious that it was a bike. I ran to it and it said on the tag - to Sandy, from Santa Claus - I couldn't believe it. My Father asked my mother right then where it came from - my mother didn't make much money and my father would never have bought it for me - no-one knew, it could only have come from Santa Claus.
"I don't know if there is a guy that dresses in a red suit with a white beard, that may be a story, but I believe in the greater Spirit of Santa Claus, and that to some people, he exists, he visits and brings what will make children smile."
I asked for a retelling of the same story from my Grandma (Grandpa being long dead - another good gift to the family.) and she told it roughly the same - swearing by Jesus Christ (she was very religious) that she didn't know where it came from - to her dying day she upheld the same story with only variation that time gives everything - My Grandfather, I am told, also swore to his last that he never bought it for her and why would he have - a complete bastard - horror of a man really.
This story gave me hope and I have thought on it for many years - I still believe in Santa Claus and the inner goodness of regular people when the Spirit overtakes them. St. Nick can be found many places in this world whether or not you believe, within people, as a person or a magnanimous being of some sort - I don't know how he manifests but I know in my heart that he does.
Having a son - I am proud to never lie to him and have told him that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist - we buy his teeth from him - (he wants to keep them anyway and when he thought there was a tooth fairy he was not going to give her his teeth) - He has yet to ask about the Easter Bunny but I will be honest with that as well. As for Santa - I remind him that he does exist, I keep that alive in him and I hope to always keep that alive in him - If I could have it my way I would become Santa Claus for all the world and look forward to my hair going white so with my mighty beard I can play Santa at the malls and even throughout the year. Sometimes children from other countries here visiting or immigrating will point to me with my brown mighty beard and excitedly say that I am Santa now - I never correct them and have even been known to hug them. If only I could become That Man, my life would have more joy in it than I could handle - I have no wish to become immortal but to make this difference in the lives of all mankind and especially children whom my heart has enough room for all of.