At some point in everyone’s lives they come across the question “Is Santa Claus real?” I will tell you right now that I firmly believe in Santa Claus and I know who he really is. Who is Santa you ask? Well, he is different for everyone.
When I was five and in the first grade (and yes I was five), a good friend, Mike, came up to me around the holidays and asked if I believe in Santa Claus. I replied with an emphatic “Yes!” I just knew there was a Santa Claus.
Well, Mike told me that I was crazy and that his brother had informed him that Santa wasn’t real. I still didn’t believe him because his brother was known to make things up and dupe all of us little kids.
Mike said, “Tonight go home and look under your parents bed, and I bet that you will find the present that “Santa” will give you on Christmas Day.” I agreed to do so, and we continued to play during recess.
That night, I found some reason to go into my parents’ bedroom. I snuck around to dad’s side which was hidden, and then I quickly jumped down and flipped up the bed skirt. What did my wondering eyes see? A really cool racetrack!! Not one to want to get into trouble, I put the bed skirt back and hurried out my parents room into my own.
My heart dropped once I was in my bedroom. I realized Mike was right, there was no Santa Claus. I couldn’t believe that my parents would encourage me to believe in something that wasn’t real. So, I started to think about it because something wasn’t quite right.
I thought long and hard for several days. I was only five after all, so it took a lot of thinking to figure it out, and I couldn’t ask an adult. Of course, Mike confronted me the very next day and asked what I saw under my parents’ bed. I lied and said, “Nothing, I saw nothing.” I didn’t want to hear him gloat.
At home my parents and family were constantly asking me if I was good and if Santa was going to make it to my house this year. My grandfather would tease me and say, “I don’t know Santa is getting old; I bet he gives up the gig and doesn’t give any presents out.” It was a lot of pressure knowing what I knew and still putting up a good front of believing.
And then one night while I was laying in bed thinking about it, I finally understood. Santa Claus isn’t a single man. Nobody ever told me that he was a single person; they just kept saying Santa Claus. I merely assumed that it was a single person.
No, Santa Claus is the heart and mind of every single parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin, and yes…the children who believe. Santa is a gift that families pass down from generation to generation. If you think about it, nobody and I mean nobody teases you about believing in Santa Claus. Well, except for a mean older brother/sister. They’ll tease you about other things that you believe in, but not Santa. Why is that?
Because by believing, the children are giving the gift of Santa back to their families as well. I realized that by believing I was making my parents and family happy that they could delight me so much, and remember their own years of believing. They enjoyed seeing delighted faces on us kids and giving this gift to us. My uncle loved playing Santa at Grandma’s house that was his gift to us (and he was very believable), and he loved hearing us wonder about it when we came up from the basement. Nobody teases a child for believing because they are giving them a gift from their heart. It is the gift of believing.
If you think about it, they can’t recreate Aladdin’s lamp and poof there is what you wished for. They can’t have you wish on a star and bam there is what you wished for. But with Santa, a child can believe and ask for their hearts desire and a parent can most of the time make that request happen because most of the time they have plenty of time to work on the request.
I knew that I needed to continue to give the gift of belief back to my parents, so that Christmas morning they could delight in seeing my surprised face at the gift that Santa brought. The next school day, I went to Mike and told him that his brother was an idiot. He looked a little shocked as did my other friends who had all found their Santa presents. Then I told them what I figured out. I was a pretty smart kid, so they listened as I explained what I had determined. We all agreed to believe for the rest of our lives because it is a great gift to receive as well as give.
That Christmas as soon as dawn hit the windows, I heard an odd sound coming from the living room. I leapt out of bed because I knew Dad was playing with the racetrack I saw under their bed which meant I could now play with it too. I flew to the living room and said “Wow! Santa brought me a racetrack! Thank you Santa wherever you are!” I was looking at my parents when I said it. They never had a clue. I smiled and enjoyed my Santa present as well as the other presents I was given…well except for the clothes. Seriously, a kid doesn’t want clothes.
I never again went looking for presents under my parents’ bed or anywhere else. It would take away from my surprise which I would need as I got older. There was only one other Christmas where I knew what I was getting and that was an inadvertent error.
My parents believed that I believed for many years after that, and then one year they knew the truth. I don’t remember them ever asking if I still believed, they just knew I knew who Santa really was. I think as parents they had to come to terms that I was growing up and no longer a little girl anymore.
So the answer is that Santa is indeed real. He is as real as you and me. And yes, I believe wholeheartedly in Santa!