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


6 Responses to “My family still believes in Santa”

  1. ceciliag Says:

    That is fantastic, the laugh on your nephew deserves a frame! How cool. I love the hats, i have boxes of them that i found in an attic but they were all worn by a woman with a very small head. sad.. but I cannot bear to be parted from them anyway! Glad you all had a great time!! c

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, C., the middle sister would be so jealous of your attic hat find. My brother wore a dress hat that our father once wore to church. He claims to have fetched it from a dumpster after we cleaned our mother’s basement in September. Middle sister says she tossed it. Ahem.

      Anyway, I agree that the photo of my nephew with Santa is frame-worthy. Capturing such moments is way better than all the posed Santa photos in the world.

  2. Brian Kletscher Says:

    Audrey, Nice job!! Just remember that Santa is always watching and keeps a very close eye on things and especially what is written about him. Have a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! Signed: Santa

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Hmmmmm…so are you admitting that YOU were Santa? Don’t worry. I write only nice things about Santa.

  3. lanae Says:

    I loved sharing my vintage hats with all the girls. My husband laughs and tells me that our daughter Tara will throw them in the dumpster when I’m gone, but Andy our son-in-law will keep his guns. I told Tara to bring them to my funeral, what fun all would have. I think everyone who wore one enjoyed them as they were kept on for a long time. May God bless each of you in the new year with happiness, love and the joy of each other.

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