(On Perpetuating The Wonderful Myth of Santa Through Parental Trickery)

One More Year of Santa

By —— Bio and Archives--December 21, 2018

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One More Year of Santa
There is one in every class. You know—that one 6 year old smart aleck who takes sadistic pleasure in being the first to announce to his naïve classmates that “There is no Santa!” Sometimes, unfortunately, it is the teacher who decides to burst their bubble and announce the secret. It is apparently politically incorrect nowadays to believe in the jolly old elf who travels the world delivering presents to young children. But then, why not? What is the harm in perpetuating the myth of Santa and allowing innocent little children to believe in such a wonderful myth just a little longer before they grow up and join the real world?


Therefore, I was a little sad when my 6 year old Kate came home after school one day to announce, with a look of bewilderment: “Daddy, someone in class said there is no Santa.” Because perpetuating the myth of Santa Claus in order to preserve the innocence of a 6 year old can never be a lie (I was certain) I replied: “They are wrong. Of course there is a Santa Claus.”

“Okay,” she replied, before walking away. But the look on her face suggested that I was less than convincing. My daughter, sadly, was on the cusp of disbelief. I could not risk losing her at such a young age…not this year. What to do, I thought. We needed one more year of Santa and I needed to prove to her and her classroom skeptics that he existed.

But how do you prove to an intelligent and inquisitive 6-year-old girl (and her 5-year-old brother David who still believed) that there was a Santa? Proof, I thought, I needed proof. Something more than the tepid reply from a father who did not seem all that convincing. So I hatched a plan—a foolproof plan. It must work. I would not be bested by a 6-year-old rascal who had ruined by daughter’s day by revealing the secret.

As luck would have it, 1991 was a cold and snowy winter. It was clear from the half foot of snow on the hip roof of my house that there would be snow for Christmas—just days away. Looking out my second story window at the steep roof next to our window I knew what had to be done. Santa would come on Christmas, oh yes. I could prove it.

So I went shopping at a local craft store and procured a 3 foot long leather strap with jingle bells attached. Just the kind that Santa uses to connect his sleigh with the reindeer.

On Christmas Eve, late at night, when the kids were fast asleep, I went to the second floor window with a garden rake and 11-foot extension pole connected with duct tape—mankind’s greatest invention since the printing press.  Reaching out as far as I could through the open window and into the frigid air, I traced two perfectly parallel tracks down the length of the roof four feet apart. Four feet, as we all know, is exactly the distance between the runners on Santa’s sleigh. Having partially cut through the leather jingle bell strap with scissors, I threw it next to the sleigh tracks and went to bed.

Early on Christmas morning after the kids awoke,  I asked them whether they had heard Santa last night. No, they said, they had not. I thought I had heard him on the roof and suggested that they go check it out. Peering out onto the roof the kids were delighted to find that he had indeed been there. After all, he left tracks and a piece of jingle bells and they were so far away from the window that no mere mortal could have staged that. I fished the jingle bells off of the roof, stretching as far out as I could, and retrieved them to the delight of my kids. He had been there indeed. He exists. Look at the tracks, the bells and the presents under the tree.  Kate took the sleigh bells to her room.

After Christmas break Kate could not wait to take the bells to school and confront any naysayers in the class. She was on a mission. She told the story of the tracks in the snow, the bells and the inaccessible location thereof, and how hard it was for Dad to retrieve the evidence. Then, in summation, she looked at the class and demanded: “If there is no Santa, just how did these bells get up there and what caused the tracks?” Confident, she sat down. Case closed. I am certain that she converted many doubters that day.

As for me, I suppose that I should feel a little guilty about this ruse that was apparently more successful than I had anticipated. I was proud of her teacher who, apparently, refrained from bursting her bubble and played along with her. Perhaps she, unlike some teachers today, understood the importance of preserving childlike innocence for even a little while.

But, no, I did not feel guilty. I was happy that my child believed just a little longer. And that we had one more year of Santa.


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William Kevin Stoos -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Copyright © 2017 William Kevin Stoos
William Kevin Stoos (aka Hugh Betcha) is a writer, book reviewer, and attorney, whose feature and cover articles have appeared in the Liguorian, Carmelite Digest, Catholic Digest, Catholic Medical Association Ethics Journal, Nature Conservancy Magazine, Liberty Magazine, Social Justice Review, Wall Street Journal Online and other secular and religious publications.  He is a regular contributing author for The Bread of Life Magazine in Canada. His review of Shadow World, by COL. Robert Chandler, propelled that book to best seller status. His book, The Woodcarver (]And Other Stories of Faith and Inspiration<strong>) © 2009, William Kevin Stoos (Strategic Publishing Company)—a collection of feature and cover stories on matters of faith—was released in July of 2009. It can be purchased though many internet booksellers including Amazon, Tower, Barnes and Noble and others. Royalties from his writings go to support the Carmelites. He resides in Wynstone, South Dakota.

“His newest book, <strong>The Wind and the Spirit (Stories of Faith and Inspiration)
” © 2011, is scheduled for release in the summer of 2011. All the author’s royalties go to support the Carmelite sisters.”

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