Looking Back: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, December 19, 2018

I am changing this column a little bit this week by telling you the story of Santa Claus which I wrote several years ago. I call it my version of the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

This is the time of year when faces are a little brighter and he air is full of greetings for the holidays. A few more days and people will sit back in their easy chairs and survey the piles of wrapping paper and all that left over food.

But somewhere to the north, there will be a jolly old man who will be putting his feet up on the footstool to finally get some rest after another busy year.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Santa Claus is not easy to catch for an interview, but on a recent day, while he was making a special  visit to Brewton, he consented to be the subject of a profile.

Santa is indeed a ‘right jolly old man’ and his story is one not to be missed.

He began his adventures in the early 1800s and used St. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, as his inspiration. St. Nicholas was the Bishop of Myra in the fourth century and Santa Claus had been a long time admirer.

On Christmas Eve of 1822, Clement Clark Moore wrote a little poem for his his children and although he wanted to be known for his intellectual writings, this one little poem is remembered and read to children still today.

“Twas the Night Before Christmas” swept over the world and Santa Claus is based on that poem.

At the time of the poem’s publication, Santa Claus was living at the North Pole raising reindeer for those that need them. He had so many reindeer that he had begun to make bells for each one so that he could keep up with them. There were in the land elves who love the reindeer and followed the sound of the bells back to Santa’s farm. They insisted that they stay there and help Santa with the bell making. Soon there were many elves living there with Santa and everyone working and they soon had a large surplus of bells. The bells had become so popular all over the world, that Santa was receiving many, many letters from people including little  children. When the elves were not busy making bells they had been making a few toys and it seemed the children really loved the toys.

Pretty soon Santa was receiving more and more letters from little children and he came up with the idea of making a list of who had been good and who had been bad. That way he could make sure that the good little boys and girls would get the very best toys.

Now Santa knows that we are all God’s children and sometimes children make mistakes, so even the children who have been a little bad receive some toys at Christmas.

Soon Santa had more than he could deliver and he came up with the idea of using a sleigh and reindeer to carry the toys. It so happened that that there were a few reindeer that had learned to fly, much to Santa’s surprise. The elves just seemed to have magic in their hands and they had taught  eight reindeer how to fly.

“The elves have magic in their hands,” said Santa. “They have been such a big help to me over the years. They, along with Mrs Claus, are my family. She loves every one of the elves and is not bothered by such a big crowd. She delights in cooking and she makes the best hot chocolate cookies, my favorite foods. She makes everything warm and rich in my life.”

Of course it is very cold at the North Pole so everyone has lots of stockings and they began to hang them up for Santa to put goodies in. Santa really appreciates that.

“I appreciate everybody hanging their stockings,” said Santa. “It makes my job so much easier. I want to thank all the children for the milk and cookies and I share them with my reindeer.”

Everyone always wonders about Rudolph. Santa said that he wasn’t always part of the trip on Christmas Eve. In fact he was different from the other reindeer and that had caused some problems. Rudolph was born with a nose that glowed when he was upset and he was upset a lot because the other reindeer teased him and called him names.

One Christmas Eve it was foggy and Santa was afraid that he would not be able to make it to all the stops. He had an idea that maybe Rudolph could help with his red nose. Rudolph was so excited and he found that he could control the amount of light given off. It was just right to light the way and he became a permanent part of the team every year.

A few other things were explained by Santa. He said that he loves the idea of a Christmas tree.

“I love the scent of the trees,” he said. “It makes me think of Spring. We have always had greenery around our house at the North Pole.Trees are also good places to put presents without them being all over the house.”

He also explained the candy cane, the hat, the beard and the red suit.

“The beard keeps me warm,” he said. The red suit, the candy cane and the hat come from the Bishop of Myra. He always wore a red robe and of course since he was a bishop, his hat was red with a pointed top. Candy canes are made to look like a shepherds cane and that is what the Bishop carried.”

And in case you have ever wondered about chimneys, or the lack of them, never fear. It seems that the magic is not all with the elves. Santa has some of his own. He can come down the chimney or use his nose.

“Ho, Ho, Ho!” he said. “I am sort of like Samantha. I just lay my finger aside of my nose and I can go down the chimney, up the chimney or even appear by the Christmas tree. And that bag of goodies is magic too. Love fits into small places and I can fit it in my bag.”

Christmas is very special to everyone and especially Santa and his crew. They work all year making toys and somehow they always come through with just the right kind of toys. Santa believes that elves have magical powers that give them insight of what children want every year. They seem to always make just the right amount of toys for the year and then start all over for next year.

“I love Christmas,” said Santa. “I also love it when I get back home from my rounds. Mrs. Claus and I sit by the fire and share stories and hot chocolate with marshmallows. That is enough Christmas for us. She loves to hear stories about the trip. She has never made the trip with us.”

The Claus couple usually takes January off and spend time with each other. They plan to scuba in Aruba this coming January while the elves take the time to get started for a new year of making toys.

He wants the children to know that he still makes a list and yes, he does check it twice. Sometimes he checks it several times a year.

One other thing that Santa is very interested in is  the way people treat each other.

“People need to care for one another,” he added. “Share with each other and be thankful for what you have. Thankfulness goes a long way. Be super accepting in your home. Love one another and remember that we are all God’s children.”