Old Man in the Sky

When I was a kid, I believed in a bearded man that descended to Earth to fulfill my prayers. He donned robes of red and flew in a magical sleigh — his holy bible was the Sears Wish Book. I’d scour and study the good word (and pictures) for hours at a time, compiling my finds into a list. There were many movies dedicated to his ever-presence and magical fulfillment capabilities, so I was well-versed in the doctrine of Old Saint Nick.

One truth that was always told: it was NEVER too late to save Christmas. A Christmas Miracle was ALWAYS waiting around the corner until the very last minute. Children would be filled with glee while adults would finally feel the relief they desperately needed. At first they’d be incredulous, yet they’d have no choice but to believe in the magic of Christmas and graciously accept the gifts they were given.

To say that I’m a fan of Santa is an understatement. When I imagine building my perfect woodworking shop for instance, I imagine it looking like Santa’s Workshop. When I see folks donning his red robes, I don’t see imposters, I see celebrators of the season doing their part to extend his reach. Every lit bulb I see is the twinkle in that jolly ol’ fellow’s eye. I don’t see the commercialization of Christmas, I see the physical representation of joy wrapped in paper ready to be ripped apart to reveal the revelry within.

To gaze upon his visage, I see a selfless elf with boundless cheer toting a bottomless sack containing the fulfillment of everyone’s wishes. And all he asks in return, is that you live your best life. Is that not a being worthy of the highest praise? You ask me, when the chips are down, when times are tough, when the final flicker flashes — you ask me who I call for help? It’s Santa Claus.

Snow Flocked Crimson

Santa, Santa, flying high,
With your reindeer in the sky,
Bring me presents on my list,
Surprises too, if you get my gist.

With robes of red and beard of white,
With merry cheer traveling through the night.
Mirth and miracles fill your sack,
As you enter homes with it on your back.

To you dear Santa, I make my wish,
as you eat the cookies from my dish.
May the world receive what you inspire,
the fulfillment of their hearts’ desire.

To give and get is just good fun,
As you navigate your yearly run.
My thanks kind sir for making things bright.
Merry Christmas to you, and to all a goodnight!

Yes, Virginia

“Is There a Santa Claus?” from the September 21, 1897 edition of The New York Sun.

Dear Editor, I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
– Virginia O’Hanlon

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

– Francis Pharcellus Church