By Elf Ed Zachary
Reading Santa’s mail is an exercise in human psychology.
There are the sweet letters from five-year-old girls who don’t ask for anything from Santa, they just want to send a letter where they can dot their I’s with a little heart. Seven-year-old boys are direct. Their letters read more like shopping lists. Quick, dull and to the point.
We get letters from older folks too. Sad mothers who can’t afford much for their kids write a lot. New Dads write all the time for advice. Old Dads write out of boredom. Yes, the letters to Santa are interesting indeed.
But it is the 9 to 11 year kids who write the very best letters. These pre-teen years are great. These kids are so bright and articulate. And they think they know every darn thing in the world. It makes them suspicious. And their letters as a result are hilarious.
“Dear Santa, you big fraud,” wrote one kid last year. “I know you’re a fake. You write just like my mom, you wrap presents just like my older sister and your so-called boot prints by the fireplace are exactly the same size as my Dad’s work boots.”
Ha-ha. I had Santa wake his uppity hind-end up last year and have him watch Santa fill out the gift tags, wrap the presents and leave dirty footprints on his Mom’s carpet. Santa was only too happy to do it. After all, five years before that same kid got a Nintendo and never sent Santa a thank you note. I had the pleasure of asking Santa to do it and Santa had the pleasure of stealing Mr. Know-it-all’s sugarplums.
One year an 11-year-old girl wrote to say that it was impossible for Santa to exist because she saw all the presents in her parent’s closet – unwrapped – about three days before Christmas.
Now go figure that. Just because she saw presents in there intended for her she assumed that meant that Santa Claus isn’t real. What kind of thinking is this? I shudder at what the rising generation will become.
What kids and doubters everywhere fail to realize is that there is a deep and abiding connection between Santa and all parents. There always has been and always will be. But kids will never know it or understand it until they have kids of their own.
Yes, it is a secrecy thing. And kids hate it when others have secrets that they can’t know. But that’s just the way it is.
Now, most kids aren’t going to take that as an explanation. Some kids, in fact, will do drastic things to catch us in this thing they are sure is a lie. In Indiana there is a 9-year-old boy who for the third straight year is scheming to catch Santa in the act. He won’t succeed, of course, but it just goes to show you how desperate some of these kids get.
Some kids are on a mission to prove that the world is out to get them, I guess. But I assure you right now, there’s no conspiracy here. You can’t know the full truth about how Santa works until you are a parent. You could be 50 years old and still not know because you’re single and without children. You have to have kids to know those secrets.
Until then, the mysteries you encounter will remain mysteries. The fact of the matter is that there is a simple explanation for most things. I’ll give you a few of them here, even though I’m not supposed to:
Do the gift tags on your presents look like they were written by your mom or someone else that you know? That’s simple. Santa works very quickly and uses a variety of methods to get his job done. Pens and pencils are tools that he uses. But he doesn’t use a pen like you or I use a pen. He makes a pen work like magic. And it writes in the handwriting of the person who last used it. And that’s why the handwriting might be familiar to you. There is, of course, a good reason that Santa does this. Most kids learn to read and write with the help of their parents. Santa wants these young readers to be able to actually read what is written on a gift tag. So he makes pens write in a familiar way to help these kids. It adds a nice touch to Santa’s delivery style, don’t you think?
Have you ever found presents under your parent’s bed or tucked away in their closet? There’s a simple reason for that too. Santa often ships samples of certain presents to parents so they can test them and see if they are right for their kids. Santa doesn’t ever want to give a toy or a gift to a kid whose mother disapproves. Usually, Santa gets these samples picked up. But, in the hubbub of the holiday season he sometimes has to pick up the samples at the same time he is dropping off presents. No big secret there. Just a logistical thing. I’m sure you can understand that.
Do the footprints by the fireplace or out in the snow look familiar? Sometimes, they should. If you ask your old man why Santa has the same size shoe as he does maybe you should consider first that maybe it was your old man and not Santa who made the footprints in the first place. Santa is usually very good about wiping his feet. And he’s good about not leaving tracks. Why do you think he flies a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer? It’s all about speed and stealth, my friends. Otherwise Santa would show up in an 18-wheeler with all horns blaring. But Santa can’t work that way, for obvious reasons.
Nevertheless, Santa sometimes leaves evidence behind. But when he does so he does it on purpose. If you see Santa tracks on your carpet or hoof prints on your roof you should not question not whether they were real but why Santa left them there for you to see. What do you suppose Santa is trying to tell you? Some things are not always what they seem.
And that’s true especially of Santa.
You’ll see. When you’re an adult, with kids of your own, you’ll see Santa in a whole different way. My advice to you is to stop questioning Santa and start just enjoying him. Now is the time in your life to do so. And once you get in on the secrets there is no going back.
That being said, I know the letters will just keep coming here to the North Pole. Funny as that sounds, but it is true. Why is it that when someone doubts the existence of Santa Claus that they write to the North Pole?
Now that’s an unexplained mystery.