My son asked me about Santa Claus the other day. Now, at 14, he made up his mind about the existence of big man several years ago, but any time he or the nephews ask me, I always tell them I believe.
This time he really tried to pin me down.
“Do you really think there is a man in a red suit who flies all over the world in one night to deliver presents to every single kid?” he asked.
That led to yet another discussion about the true spirit of Christmas, helping others, being kind and making people smile. And, once again, I was slick enough to slip through without making a definitive negative statement about the existence of Mr. Kringle.
Years of having this same conversation have taught me a trick or two.
Giggles and gifts
Our letters to Santa came pouring into the office last week, as they do every Christmas. Our high school intern, Parashay Hamilton, typed the majority of the letters, for which I am eternally grateful, but I got the weekend shift to tie up the loose ends.
I don’t mind typing Santa letters. I’ve done it for years and, like the annual Santa debate I have with the kids, I’m pretty good at it.
Once I re-train my brain to type them exactly as they are written, I go on auto-pilot and zip right through them. Some make me smile and some make me laugh out loud, but every now and then one stops me dead in my tracks.
This year, Jamil Wofford got my attention. He included his wish list and then went on to tell Santa all the things he would leave out Christmas Eve. I got tickled as he went on and on, listing juice, bananas, jello, yogurt, milk, eggs, apple sauce, a light, a tent, pizza and Clorox.
What? Wait a minute. Back up and read that again.
Yes, it really says Clorox. Hmmm, I’ve never ridden in an open sleigh behind eight reindeer on a whirlwind trip around the world, but now that you think about it, Jamil may be on to something.
I’ve also gotten pretty good at figuring out what the kids are asking whether they can spell it correctly or not.
Nestor Flores was my favorite this year.
“Dear Santa, Do you egzest?”
Seeing is believing
Friday at lunch, two men handed me money to shop for two of the Angel Tree children who were left to be adopted. Just gave me money and said, “Go and get those kids some Christmas presents.”
Friday afternoon I went to Okolona and watched volunteers brave the rain and cold to put Christmas wreaths on every military grave in the Oddfellows Cemetery. 240 graves in all.
Saturday afternoon, I watched as a young lady from Houlka hosted a free meal and gave away jackets and coats, just because she saw a need.
And those are just a few of the acts of kindness I saw over a two-day span.
So, Cody Voyles, the answer is yes. I always have, do now and always will believe in Santa Claus.
And yes, Nestor, he does exist. I’ve seen him with my own two eyes.
Lisa Voyles is Managing Editor/Sports for the Chickasaw Journal. She can be contacted at 456-3771 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.