[An oldie, but one of my favorites.]
Heartless. Dickish. Mean. A scrooge. Yes, I know what the kids at school sometimes call me. I love Christmas, I love Jesus Christ, I love family and the holiday season.
“Timothy, I’m sorry, but…he isn’t real.”
But Santa? No, we’ll never celebrate him within these walls.
Timmy leaves my office, standing a little shorter than when he entered. My secretary and Vice-Principal give me daring glances, but my conviction is resolute.
I’m going to save the world, one kid at time.
At home I sit at my davenport, a grandkid on each knee. I tell them the story as it was told to me.
It came from the North Pole…
It always starts the same, it always ends the same. The kids stare at me slackjawed and incredulous. I let them go and my son stays behind, his face twisted the way a philosopher’s is when emotion interferes with truth.
“Dad, Emily and I, we’ve been thinking about letting the kids believe. It’s just that, Santa’s not even as important as he used to be…” I let him drone on and I look out my window north…north…
In a remote Greenland village, circa 1743, ten mischievous children were tasked to go north for food and medicine. They returned very different, perpetually in motion, carrying a constant ringing only other children could hear. These “elven” children would go on to build little knicks and knacks, dangerous trinkets they used to kill adults and spread the belief of an omnipresent St. Nick.
My ancestors won the first battle, but where there’s a belief in Santa, there’s a risk of a return. I sit and watch my grandkids play in the den. They turn to me in unison, necks twisted, voices synchronous, high, in legion, and slowly go “Ho, ho, ho…”