The Magic Is Still Here
This is going to sound cheesy no matter how I tell it.
But here it is: my Dad saved Christmas.
A friend recently posted on Facebook that she had overheard her six-year-old son “questioning Santa.” She wanted a man who didn’t know her kids to call her, pretending to be the Big Man.
I volunteered my dad. She accepted.
Then I had to tell him what I had signed him up for. His reaction: “Do you think I could?”
That, sir, is a no-brainer. My dad’s voice is legendary. He’s often asked to emcee tournaments, banquets, ceremonies; has been an announcer for various sporting events; and was the sports reporter on our high school tv news show.
Plus, he is particularly amazing with kids.
So last Monday, he called the little guy’s mama. He talked to B about Christmas and what is real. B and his little sister asked about Santa’s elves.
That six-year-old believes again.
And there may be people out there who think this perpetuates a lie. Of course Santa isn’t real. My dad isn’t Santa Claus.
But he is.
He even saw the Easter Bunny hop through our backyard and into the woods one Easter morning, a fact so staggering that my brother and I could not believe his luck.
And so is my mom, who wrote notes from Santa to us with her left hand. And so is B’s mom, who sent Santa a script so he would sound credible.
And beyond that: all the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” rhetoric. Santa is magic. And magic is real. Maybe not tangible, but real.
In this season of gift-ordering, card-writing, decoration-displaying, event-going, may I remember the magic. Of slow drives through neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights and listening to the squees of my children. Of their learning to put mailed presents from family under the tree and wait until Christmas day. Of their singing the new songs they’ve learned: “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Must Be Santa.” Of their new love of the story of Clara and the Nutcracker, and the magic in it.
As they get older, they’ll learn different kinds and facets of magic. But I hope they believe in it always. Just like B. And my dad.