When I was a kid, Santa always got more active in the months leading up to Christmas.
Starting around October each year, if I acted up, the adults would say, “Santa is watching you!”
It was as if Santa hibernated for the first three quarters of the year.
I could act up in March and just get a spanking.
No mention of Santa.
I kind of suspected, though, that Santa might do undercover work for parents during the off season. That would explain how I could do something bad clear across town and my mom already knew about it before I got home.
Sure, Santa looked like a great guy, but he was a rat. I was pretty sure of it.
But, what are you gonna do? He’s the guy who makes the toys. If you don’t watch out, not cry, not pout, they’re gonna tell you why you won’t be happy come Christmas morning.
They even wrote a song about that.
The whole Santa thing is still confusing.
Christmas: “Come on, sit on Santa’s lap. See his funny hat and beard? C’mon, don’t cry. He won’t hurt you.”
Rest of the year: “Billy! What have I told you about talking to strangers! Get away from him!”
Seriously, if someone dressed in red satin, repeating the same word over and over, came to your door, you wouldn’t tell the kids to let him in. You’d call the cops and post the guy’s picture in the neighborhood Facebook watch group to warn the neighbors.
And what about his mode of transportation? It’s never made any sense to me how a guy could do that many deliveries in one night in a sled pulled by eight reindeer.
I know that Christmas is outside of hunting season, but, hey, it’s The South. It’s amazing he’s not hitting on just two cylinders by the time he wraps up his night.
And what’s his incentive? The guy works for free at every department store and appears in every Christmas parade leading up to Christmas Eve. This is his peak production time, yet he pushes himself and his elves?
And for what?
He never asks for money and he has no visible means of making a living.
We have all of these fundraisers, but none of them are ever for the one guy who has no paying job, yet he gives gifts to everybody.
It’s all so confusing. Could someone like Santa really exist?
I don’t think I’m the only one who wonders.
There was this story, you may have read about it, where this girl named Virginia also wondered. Some newspaper guy wrote this long reassurance to her. I guess she bought it, because I never heard anything else directly from her, but that story pops up every year as a reminder that there are still doubters.
The newspaper man said that Santa exists as certain as love, generosity, and devotion exist. But, I don’t know.
Some things just require faith, I guess.
I do have faith in what some people say. Like my mom.
Every Christmas, I think back on the words of my mother, way back when, as I was starting to have my doubts about the Jolly Old Fat Man.
I remember looking my mom in the eye and saying, “Tell me the truth. Don’t fib. Is there a Santa or not?”
Her face got so sad and a tear ran down her cheek. She said, “John, you are 41 years old.”
So, if you’re having doubts, go ask your own mom. For some reason, this topic brings my mom to tears.
I do hope that if you’re like me, and wondering whether Old Saint Nick is truly out there, that you will also have faith.
Because faith is the real reason for the season.
But it isn’t faith in a nice man who brings toys. It is faith in God’s son who came to us as a man so that we might all have eternal life.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
©2018 John Moore
John’s book, Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now, is available on Amazon.
Email John at John@TheCountryWriter.com.
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