Yes, Molly, there is a Santa Claus
A rambling by Tom Knapp

A few days ago my daughter Molly, just turned 9, asked me a question I'd been dreading. No, it wasn't the sex question, but it was every bit as important in a young child's life: "Do you believe in Santa Claus?" Buying time, I asked her why she'd brought the subject up. "Kids at school are talking about it," she said.

She looked worried. And I understood why. A big chunk of my childhood was stolen when my first-grade teacher, too eager by far to share her faith with her class, told all of her impressionable young students that Santa Claus didn't exist. What a terrible, dreadful thing to say! Molly, at least, deserves better. "Of course he exists," I told her. "There are so few pieces of real magic left in the world, wouldn't it be a shame to lose this one?"

Molly still looked doubtful, so I decided it was time to acknowledge that, at age 9, it's hard to accept certain things that an 8-year-old believes without question. "Not all of the stories about Santa are true," I explained. "For instance, he doesn't really come down the chimney. I mean, chimneys are so small. And besides, not all houses have them. I grew up in a house without a chimney, and Santa didn't have any problems." I was warming to the subject now. "It's just like a lot of important people, like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. There are a lot of stories about them that aren't true, but they were real. Frankly," I confided to Molly, with a conspiratorial whisper, "I'm not even sure if the whole Rudolph thing is true. But Santa is." Molly seemed quite content with the answer, and visibly relieved, too.

Please, I silently pleaded to Santa, let us have one more year. And I think that wish has been granted. Thank you, Santa! And to all of our readers and the staff here at Rambles.NET, let me wish a Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

by Tom Knapp
23 December 2006