Gifts for Santa



Karen Helsel

Don’t show this to your children if they still believe.

Last week, a young boy said to his mother, “Mom, you would never lie to me, would you?”

She had an idea where this was headed. “No, son, not unless it was for your own good.”

He was quiet and then said, “Mom, Santa’s not real, is he?”

“No,” she replied, “but the magic of Christmas is real.”

We know the history of Saint Nicholas, who died sometime between 326 and 341 A.D. Many stories were told of his generosity, which he preferred to express anonymously.

The Santa tradition was brought to this country by Dutch settlers. Santa was immortalized in Dr. Clement Moore’s poem, first entitled “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” now known as, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Early pictures of Santa found him dressed in traditional bishop’s robes. In 1874 his clothes were painted brown and trimmed in brown fir.

This week I overheard a young mother explaining to her elderly grandmother why her little toddler was shy and wouldn’t be held by anyone else: “I took her to see Santa today, and she screamed and screamed. She’s feeling a bit clingy now.”

Santa photos seem to indicate that many young children are frightened by the man in the red suit. What this means is that there is a small window of opportunity for believing: between the ages where crying stops and disbelief ensues.

During this time of wishful thinking, some unique gifts are left out on Christmas Eve for the old gentleman: a bowl of oatmeal – keep him healthy; Fruit Loops; pancakes; and of course cookies or cake and milk

The one I like best is a plate of carrots with this sign, printed by a youngster just learning to write: “Santa, these are for the reinbeers.”

I hope you pay close attention to things that make you smile this Christmas.


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