I Believe in Father Christmas

I Believe in the Magic of Father Christmas and Hope He Brings

Why do I believe in Santa? Because I've actually seen him in action.
Call me silly. Call me a person infected with too much Christmas spirit, but I believe in Santa Claus.
Why?
Because I've seen more than one occasion of gifts coming "from nowhere," miraculously, out of nothing more than faith.
Because, as I tell my grownup children when they make fun of Mom, just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Because, as I tell most people, there are more things that are beyond our recognition in this world than any of us will ever be able to explain.

But most of all, I believe in him because I saw him in action.

Several years ago, I got involved in an ill-fated literacy exercise at a major retailer (who shall remain nameless), targeted for a weekend shortly before Easter. The idea was that local authors would stop in to this store at certain times on this mammoth "reading day" and read a story to all the interested kids who were present. The story had been preselected, the book was there, and if the store personnel were not brimming over with enthusiasm, at least most of them weren't openly hostile to the project. That didn't mean that the store would turn off its intercom or its ad TVs, or any of the other competing noise, of course.
Long story short, it was a monster-piece of bad planning. Not just because "story time" is the last thing parents are thinking about when they're doing springtime Saturday shopping. But on that same weekend, one of the Harry Potter books had just come out, and massive piles of this hardcover books were all over the book departments of the stores in question. Kids were lining up, all right, but not for story time, but for Harry Potter.
To say that the day was a grind would be putting it kindly, until I went to the final store. And there, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but Santa Claus himself.
This store had no setup for the author day, but they did have a place for the Easter Bunny, so while EB was taking a break, Resident Author camped on his throne. That's the vantage point from which I got an up-close-and-personal glimpse of Santa himself, working the warehouse store.
At first I thought it was a stunt of some kind; between the cases of bottled water and the bulk cereal, I saw the familiar red suit, white fur, the whole shot. But then he came up to talk to me and the kids around me, and I realized beyond the shadow of a doubt that this guy was the genuine article.
How? He had a business card, of course. It bore no contact information but his smiling picture, and the inscription: KEEP ON BEING GOOD! LOVE, SANTA.

Do you really need anything else?
I'd say not. I sure don't.

There are times in all of our lives when things happen that we can't explain. Miracles happen. Large and small. I believe God's behind all of those things, but I also believe Santa Claus is one of his best agents. I know that when I watched him walk through that store, something special happened. For a few minutes on a frenetic Saturday afternoon, none of us cared about how busy "reality" was around us. We could stop, be kids again, have Santa congratulate us on being good and encourage us to keep it up.
Believe in Santa Claus? You bet I do.
Because I have his card and a lasting memory that proves he believes in me.
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