Monday, January 12, 2009

Santa Claus

In todays world I wonder how many children stop believing in Santa Clause at too early of an age?

As an adult I know that the typical image of a stout old man in a red suit flying through the sky in a sleigh powered by reindeer is just a childhood tale. That does not mean that the spirt of that man does not exist. What follows is a true story that illustrates that Santa is real.

A month or so before Christmas 2008, my hometown newspaper asked adults to write letters to Santa. No restriction on content, just what would you - as an adult - ask Santa to bring? The best of those letters would be published in the paper just prior to Christmas. This is what I wrote:

"Dear Santa:

Ever since I was 12 I wanted only one thing for Christmas: a rifle. But not just any rifle (and not a BB gun). Mine had to be like the one my best friend Roy Maleka had: lever action, .22 caliber, octagon barrell with brass stock and butt plate.
Every year I peeked under the tree, but well, you know - no rifle. After awhile I begin to wonder if you existed or cared. So I stopped writing you you and instead dropped hints to Mom and Dad, then to my wife and eventually to my daughter.
Still no rifle. I am now 67 and maybe, just maybe, this will be the year?


Over 400 letters were received and mine was one of those published. Several days after the publication my wife and I returned home from playing cards with friends. The answering machine was blinking alerting us to a message. This is what the caller said: "If you are the David whose letter to Santa was published in the newspaper, please give me a call".

Well, my first reaction was that it was someone offering to sell me a rifle or maybe, it was my friend Roy Maleka that I have not seen for over 30 years! It was neither. The caller said he had a rifle for me. Not quite like the one I was looking for but a rifle nevertheless. And the best part? He was offering it to me absolutely free! That's right, FREE! The next day I drove to his home and picked up my "new" rifle. Yeah, it was not quite what I wanted but it will do. And the man who gave it to me? Believe it or not, he resembled Santa (without the beard of course)!

So you see, the spirt of Santa does exist.

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