Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

My family still believes in Santa December 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:02 AM
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Santa poses with my mom and the younger generation at a family holiday gathering on Friday evening.

AGE MATTERS NOT. Not one bit. Not when it comes to Santa.

He’s still magical, whether you’re 12 or 79 ½ or any age in between.

Friday evening, 24 hours before his busiest night of the year, Santa blew into a rural Redwood County residence on the southwestern Minnesota prairie, arriving so unexpectedly that he nearly rocketed a sister-in-law of mine straight out of her chair to the North Pole.

With a rapid drumming on the dining room window, he startled more than a few family members before slipping through a patio door into our holiday gathering.

The oldest family member surprised by Santa's visit, my 79-year-old mom. I should mention that my mom typically does not wear a fancy hat. But my middle sister started a tradition this year of all the women wearing fancy vintage hats. She brought enough for all of us to wear and it was great fun.

The youngest family member in attendance, my 12-year-old nephew, clearly enjoyed Santa's visit, too.

Hugs and handshakes and laughter and good-natured ribbing and even a kiss, followed by countless photos with Santa, defined the surprise visit now imprinted upon our memories.

I love this about my extended family. We don’t allow age to define our fun.

We still believe in Santa.

Santa made the rounds, greeting each family member, except my middle brother who had vanished.

My son and eldest daughter had their picture taken with Santa. My other daughter was unable to make it back to Minnesota for Christmas because she was working at her job as a Spanish medical interpreter in eastern Wisconsin.

Then Santa waved goodbye...

...and magically disappeared as quickly as he had arrived.

HOW ABOUT YOU? What crazy things does your family do at Christmas time to build memories? Does your family still believe in Santa?

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling