Every Christmas there is one debate that should never exist. At this time of the year, something which should never even have to be asked about not only is questioned, but extreme skepticism is cast on it. It dredges up philosophical, practical and economical issues which serve to divide us rather than unite us.
I am, of course, speaking as to the proven existence of Santa Claus.
Being a reporter, I am often asked by the true believers, i.e. young children, whether Santa Claus really does exist. Fifty years ago, this would be unheard of. But prevailing subversive elements of our society and culture perpetuated by both the Grinch and certain factions seeking to overthrow the Christmas holiday spirit, has festered a cynicism which has affected even the most innocent and pious among us.
The children, trusting my investigation skills and finicky attention to factual accuracy, require further confirmation to assure them that their faith is not misplaced.
My answer is always immediate and direct. “Of course! And I can say this without any need for an investigation or additional facts beyond that of my own childhood experience.”
To those children, still dubious of my words, I tell them of my family’s long connection with Santa Claus.
First off, like Elvis, there are lots of impersonators and impostors. But there is only one Santa Claus. Like the Highlander, there can only be one.
Ever since I was a young tyke, Santa Claus made a regular appearance on Christmas Eve, whether we were at our own house, at our grandparents home in Issaquah, or even at my uncle’s house in North Bend.
So how did I know it was the real Santa?
Because kids just know. Call it a sixth sense. It allows us to tell a fake Santa from the real one. There was no special or magical quality around the fake ones. When they laughed, we smiled, but it didn’t fill us with happiness and excitement like it did when the real Santa laughed. Plus my bothers and my cousin had a test. We plucked at the beards to see which one was real. The fake ones, which still carried the smell of the plastic bag their beard came in, gave themselves away easily.
If Santa winced and the beard remained intact, we knew he was genuine.
But most importantly, we knew who the real Santa was if he knew who we were by name without us telling him. You see, our family actually knew the real Santa Claus, thanks to his friendship with my grandpa. My grandpa is a special guy. Not only can he fix anything, including Santa’s sleigh when it broke several times due to a worn out head gasket on the magical compass needed to find every kid’s home in the world, but he was the one person Santa trusted to go up on the rooftop and take care of the reindeer while he visited with us. While Santa handed out candy canes to us and told us stories, we would heard the reindeer stomping on the roof when they got impatient. They also uttered noises that no animal can make unless they’re magical.
Mobileous rangier tarandus, or flying reindeer, are extremely volatile creatures. One time, Rudolph knocked my grandpa off the roof, and he had the bruise to prove it.
I’m sure some kids might be skeptical as to my claims. After all, just how the heck did my grandpa actually meet Santa?
You will be pleased to know that I conducted a very thorough examination of this as a child while we waited for Santa to arrive. Every Christmas I pressed my grandpa for further details about his friendship with Santa. After all, how could they have ever met, since Santa lives in the North Pole?
Apparently, my grandpa said, the North Pole is where Santa’s workshop is located, because the North Pole National Labor Board will not allow him to build a new workshop in any other part of the world, as there are very few jobs available in the North Pole. The United Elves Toy Workshop Local does not allow the elves to participate in sleigh rides with Santa due to a contractual dispute.
That is why my grandpa had to take care of the reindeer instead letting an elf attend to it (don’t tell the elves, as they consider this to be ‘sleighing jobs overseas.’)
Santa actually lives in the greater Seattle area due to its rainy seasons and relative lack of snow outside the Cascades.
He met my grandpa one day while they were shopping at Sears, both of them buying the same watch. When he’s not in his outfit, Santa looks like every other elderly man and goes by Chris Kringle in public. He goes by his real name, Saint Nicholas, when he’s serving at church, where he is able to determine who is naughty and nice.
Second, they are both diabetics and visit the same doctor.
This makes sense. If you eat milk and cookies at hundreds of millions of households in a single night for five hundred years, chances are your blood sugar level is going to rise somewhat.
So every Christmas we put out sugar-free cookies and non-fat milk, which were always eaten and a nice thank you note left.
One year, in an effort to be clever, I put out regular cookies and 2 percent lowfat milk. Santa didn’t touch them and left a note reminding us of his diabetes.
I also found out that Santa suffered from real-life difficulties that fake Santas don’t.
For example, one year Santa had to come through the backdoor to put presents underneath the tree because my dad forgot to put out the fire in the fireplace. He then had to come through the front door when we installed a new fireplace stove.
He also struggled with weight troubles.
Unlike everyone else, Santa has an ultra-high metabolism rate, which forces him to work hard to gain weight and remain plump by the time Christmas comes. Some years, however, due to his tight schedule and the austere conditions of the North Pole, he doesn’t quite make it. I noticed this several years when Santa had noticeably lost significant pounds and didn’t have the same rosy cheeks and lovable paunch.
My grandpa, who was able to delegate his reindeer task to another close friend of Santa’s in the same neighborhood that year, told us not to point it out, as Santa struggles with weight-loss image problems.
Lastly, one time when I was three I had an argument with my parents over a very important matter that I cannot recall.
They threatened to get Santa on the phone and have him put me on his naughty list.
The first time they had done it, I had begged them not to. The second time, however, I started to wonder. Just who’s side was Santa on?
Feeling brave and courageous, I called their bluff and appealed their decision. Sure enough, they made a long-distance phone call to Santa’s workshop that took fifteen minutes to connect. My parents then handed me the phone, telling me it was Santa on the other line.
After consulting with Santa for several minutes, I explained to him my side of the story. Not only did he seem to agree with me, but in the background I could hear Mrs. Claus expressing her sympathy to my plight.
Santa finally decided the issue in question fell outside his jurisdiction per the Tenth Amendment to the Santa Claus Clause: All matters of naughty and nice not expressively delegated to Santa Claus for arbitration by the Clause, nor prohibited to the parents, shall be reserved to the family and the respective parents thereof.
The ruling was technically a victory for me, but Santa still reminded me to obey my parents.
So whether you’re a kid or an adult, whenever someone questions the existence of Santa Claus, you can tell them that yours truly has settled the matter now and forevermore.