A father tells his young son a unique take on Santa Claus.
|Ben was seven years old and he didn't believe in Santa Claus anymore. He did last year, but not anymore. He had been told by his fiends at school that Santa Clause didn't exist, "It's a prank put on by your parents", said Billy, his best friend.
It was a year ago, about the same time, Christmas time, and Ben was excited. Christmas break was almost there and he had written a list of all the toys he wanted from Santa Claus.
"How do you know, Billy?", Ben asked him, "You act like you know everything!"
"I know this for a fact. They say he lives at the north pole, but how can that be true when the north pole is just ice floating on the sea?"
"Well, it's ice that never melts, so he lives on the ice."
"He built a house on the ice? And toy workshops? I don't think so."
"Well, who do you think leaves all those Christmas presents for us?"
"Our parents do. Just ask your Mom and Dad and see what they say."
Ben was mad and crushed at the thought that his parents would make all this up, but he kept it to himself, for a year. Now his Mom and Dad were feeding him the same lie as always, but this year, he would get the truth. He would do just what Billy told him to do, ask his Mom and Dad. He went into the family room where his father sat in his big recliner watching the news. Ben plopped down on the couch nearest to him and stared. His Dad glanced over at him, then back at the TV. Ben continued to stare when his Dad glanced over again and said, "Is there something I can do for you son?"
"I know Santa isn't real," Ben said with an angry disappointed look on his face.
"Oh really?", his Dad responded, "And who told you that?"
"My friend, Billy, at school. He said that the north pole is all ice and there is no way he could build a house and workshop on ice that lasted all these years."
"Well, Billy is wrong, and let me show you why. Put on your coat, hat, and gloves, it's cold outside."
"Trust me, you'll like this." So Ben and his Dad put on their coats, hats, and gloves, then went outside to the front porch. The sky from their front porch was beautiful, and gave a perfect view of the northern sky. Although the ground was covered in bright white snow from the past few days, this night it was clear, the moon was not out yet, and it seemed as if they could see every star in the sky.
"You see that star? The bright one right there?", Ben's Dad asked as he pointed to the north.
"Yeah, what about it?", Ben wanted to know.
"Well, there is a planet that revolves around that star and that is where Santa Claus lives. It's called Polaris, and people always mistook it for the North Pole." Ben knew all about stars because he was an avid science fiction fan, Star Trek, Star Wars, and he loved looking at planets and stars with the telescope that Santa brought him last year.
"Really? So he's not even from this planet?"
"Really. So you just tell Billy that until he can prove Santa doesn't live on a planet circling that star, then he is wrong."
"But what about all that stuff about him riding in a flying sleigh with magical reindeer pulling it?"
"His magic is really technology and he can make his spaceship look just like a flying sleigh."
"And the reindeer? Are they fake?"
"No, they are real too, but they can fly because the gravity on their planet is real strong, so when they get here, they can jump way up into the air. So it's not really flying, but jumping from one place to the next making it look like flying."
Ben thought that over for a moment, then asked, "But how does a big fat man like Santa ever get down the small chimneys? Or if there isn't a chimney at all, how does he get in?"
His Dad laughed, "Oh, that. That's another mistake everybody makes. He's really only this big," his Dad raised up his hands to show that Santa is really only about a foot tall.
Billy looked at his father in disbelief, as if his Dad was trying to pull one over on him. "You're kidding, right?"
"Oh no, he's a small little guy. No kidding."
"But if there's no chimney, he still couldn't get in."
"His magic, or technology," his Dad said with a wink.
"How do you know all this stuff about Santa and no one else does?"
"When I was kid, about your age, I met Santa. The real Santa. He came to our house and I stayed up to see, and he came with all of the gifts for me, your aunt Mary and uncle Jerry."
Ben wasn't so sure if he could believe his Dad, after a year of not believing, but it did make sense to him. Even his teacher said that there could be people on other planets, so the next day, Ben asked his teacher. Mrs McCoy said that Ben's dad could be right, and that year, even Billy started to believe again.