Let Santa Claus put a little magic in your Christmas

Please don’t tell me there isn’t a Santa Claus. I know better. It’s not that I’ve actually met him but I’ve seen his tracks.
Sixty years ago, before the Depression had subsided and after the winter’s snow had blanketed the countryside, he brought joy to a little girl in upstate New York.
She didn’t know then that her parents really couldn’t afford the three-foot-tall Shirley Temple paper doll and the beautiful reed doll carriage. In fact, she didn’t know her parents had anything to do with it.
The evidence was there. It was the work of Santa Claus.
There was no fireplace, and the chimney was too narrow. It was just a stovepipe attached to a glowingly hot pot-bellied stove in the middle of the living room. No one would have believed that Santa came in that way.
No, Santa Claus came striding in through the front door, and he strode right through the living room to the beautiful ceiling-tall Christmas tree in the corner of the dining room.
You could never catch him at it. But he was always sloppy enough to leave a trail behind. Usually, he spilled nuts out of his bag all the way from the tree to the front door. You could always tell he had been there.
There is no joy like the joy in the heart of a small child after a Christmas Eve visit from Santa Claus. So don’t try to pump me full of your cynical nonsense.
There was a Santa Claus then, and I believe there is a Santa Claus now. That is, if we make him happen.
Santa Claus is there whenever people dream of magic and out of that create reality. He is there when a family sits around the Christmas tree, basking in the warmth of gifts especially fitted to each of them. He is in the twinkle of the lights.
He is in every soul who brings joy to another soul at Christmas.
Occasionally, it takes some magic–some pretending–to make sense out of life. I’ll never forget the Christmas after my mother died. Santa Claus had a hard time doing his job that year.
And then one quiet December evening, sitting under the tree with its sparkling white lights and with tears running down my cheeks, it happened.
All the Christmases of my life melded into one, and there was no making the joy go away. The mother and father who had such fun playing Santa Claus so many years ago, the ones who had helped Santa spill nuts from the tree to the front door, were still there.
Once you’ve had something that important, it is always part of you. It can never be lost.
People talk a lot about the true meaning of Christmas. But I believe Santa Claus, with his jolly warmth, can help us find that true meaning. After all, remember his namesake–the good Saint Nicholas.
He lived in the 4th century A.D. and was the patron saint of sailors, travellers, bakers, merchants, and especially children.
A kind-hearted and loved bishop, Saint Nicholas traveled up and down the coast of Asia Minor, performing miracles and helping those with special needs. Without a doubt, he is the spirit of Christmas personified.
So don’t listen to the cynics this year. Let them have Christmas without Santa Claus if they so choose. But as for you, go ahead and put a little magic in your Christmas. Have fun with the people you care about, the people whose lives you touch.
It’s worth the effort. For where else can you invest time and energy in something you know will last a lifetime?

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