For all the skeptics, let me be very clear - there is indeed a Santa Claus. This is from deep personal knowledge. So listen my friends with great care and you will learn that Santa is indeed there.
Growing up in the country in the 1950's it couldn't have been a more Norman Rockwell Christmas.
Winds blasting cold air in from the northwest over fields that just months earlier were yielding food for the hungry. Now barren and brown they were perfect for those sleigh rides and treks that emulated the greatest of any arctic explorer. Snow would coat the vast empty land in white. The winds created white out conditions sweeping across the that barren landscape heading for the homestead. Drifts piling up around the house created barriers to shield us from the icy cold of the wind. The pine trees that surrounded the house would whistle with the wind signing their own Christmas carols.
Of course, earlier we had traveled into those famous woods to chop down our tree and drag it back to the house to have mom in distress proclaim that one it was too big and that it also had a bare spot which we always turned to the wall. The tree would fill a third of our living room.
The challenge with the tree was listening to Dad cuss as he attempted to space the bubble lights and big colored lights to Mom's specifications. In addition, if one light went out on the string they all went out so you had to check every single light on the string until you found the culprit! Finally there was the battle of the tinsel which the folks insisted had to be placed gently and patiently one piece at a time on the tree. Really? What young child had such patience at Christmas time?
The second trip to the woods would be made either in the pickup truck or tractor so we could stand on them and reach into the Holly trees to obtain the prickly leaves with the red berries. Our hands would testify later to the fact that we were personally involved of the gathering of this year's Holly! Finally we would put a single string (couldn't afford more) of outdoor lights that could be seen by our neighbors across the fields to signal them that the Mixner's had indeed started Christmas.
Now about Santa.
In this atmosphere when I was about nine years old, I foolishly proclaimed that I no longer believed in Santa Claus. My other siblings, Melvin and Patsy, warned me that I was making a serious mistake and that they passionately believed in Santa. Clearly being the wiser of the three Mixner kids I found it my mission to educated my misguided older brother and sister so they would no longer embarrass themselves with their peers about believing in Santa.
My folks remained silent in the heated debate.
So Christmas morning arrived and all of us headed down the backstairs to a stunning beautiful Christmas trees and presents. Since we had very little money, a number of gifts were purchased at the Five and Dime store. However, with each gift opened, everyone would always proclaim at loud that it indeed was 'a very expensive gift!'. Laughter was a way of life around our tree.
That morning my brother and sister each got their 'big gift' from Santa Claus As the packages started to dwindle from around the tree, a slow panic started taking hold of me. Where was my 'Santa gift'? Then the end arrived and there was no gift from Santa for me. I started wailing that I got no gift from Santa and the tears flowed. Mom and Dad explained that Santa most likely heard that I no longer believed in him.
Now in full throat crying I shouted out that I was wrong, I was misquoted and misunderstood! My foolish remarks clearly had been misrepresented by the media! Shouting so it could be heard at the North Pole, I proclaimed "I believe in Santa! I love Santa!"
Suddenly like magic, a gift appeared under the tree from Santa addressed to me. It was just what I wanted a small tin barn with tiny animals. Santa had given me my own farm despite my misplaced knowledge and arrogance about not believing in him!
So in one stroke, Santa heard my change of heart and his gift appeared out of the sky. It was indeed a Christmas miracle. Never ever again will I doubt the existence of Santa. This year there will be the cookies and milk for the jolly man with the infectious laugh.. Even in my sixties I still hope to wake up on Christmas morning and find that Santa has made another one of those magical moments for me.
Merry Christmas and to all good night