Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The magic of believing in Santa December 23, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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This shows part of my small collection of Santas (and one St. Nicholas) and Santa cards displayed on a shelf in my dining room. The Santas on the left and right are candles received from my Aunt Ardyce at a family gift exchange in the 1960s. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo December 2022)

MY OLDEST DAUGHTER TEXTED on Wednesday asking for a cookie recipe. The kids, she said, would want to leave a treat for Santa.

Oh, to be young again and believe in an overweight bearded man in a red suit bearing gifts on Christmas. Just to clarify, the 6 ½-year-old granddaughter is questioning Santa’s validity. But Izzy hasn’t vocalized her suspicions to her younger brother, Isaac. I expect she wants to share her doubts, yet is hesitating lest she’s wrong. Who wants to risk Santa not leaving gifts?

There’s something to be said for believing in Santa, no matter your age. Or maybe, more accurately, there’s something to be said for the magic that accompanies believing. So I suppose, in reality, I believe in Santa still.

I believe in the joy he brings. The smiles. The goodness. The laughter. The reminder that, even in difficult times, Santa navigates around life’s obstacles through a dark sky, Rudolph’s nose lighting the way. That’s such a strong visual, one we’ve seen illustrated many times in children’s picture books.

This time of year, so many individuals, organizations, churches and more bring joy. They are, like Santa, the bearers of gifts. Toys, food, clothing, gift cards… They become the magic. But it isn’t all about the tangible “things,” although those are decidedly needed and appreciated. It’s also about what giving means to the recipient. It means someone understands, someone cares, someone sees.

Santa is not fictional. He’s real, in a magical sort of way that is timeless and believable, even to the grandma of a suspicious first grader.

TELL ME: What are your thoughts on Santa?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


20 Responses to “The magic of believing in Santa”

  1. beth Says:

    I so, so agree with you, and such fun as a grandmother to see the magic and tradition carried on, isn’t it?

    • Yes, we grandmas delight in viewing the world through the eyes of our precious grandchildren. I hope the weather calms in Michigan so you and your family can celebrate together.

      • beth Says:

        thank you, it looks like most of us can be, and we will meet up soon with those who couldn’t make it –

      • That’s great news. I was just out for a grocery run. It’s nasty out there, unbelievably cold and windy. If I didn’t live in town, there’s no way I would venture anywhere. I’ve never seen so many closed roadways in southwestern Minnesota (my home area) on the Minnesota Department of Transportation website road map. Snowplows are being pulled from roads in multiple counties. Motorists are stranded and needing rescue. A dangerous situation.

      • beth Says:

        I hope that everyone is safe, the weather is so severe

      • The Minnesota National Guard has now been activated to rescue stranded motorists.

  2. Lovely post, Audrey. ❤ Santa lives in our hearts.

  3. I still believe in magic and miracles. There is just something about Santa or a Snow Person that just brings a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. I was busy yesterday getting the snow people dishes ready to set out for the Holiday weekend festivities. I really try to get to the simple in just wanting some good quality time with family and friends. To gather to be merry, eat, make cookies (better if you can just eat them – ha), laugh, talk about memories and make new memories/traditions, etc. Wishing You the BEST this Holiday – Be Blessed – Enjoy 🙂

  4. I told my kids when they were young that if they stop believing in Santa Claus they’d stop getting presents from Santa.
    I got that from a “Little House” Christmas episode.

  5. Valerie Says:

    One of my favorite Christmas children’s book is “Santa’s Favorite Story”. Santa tells the animals who are worried that Santa isn’t ready for Christmas about his favorite story: Christmas is not about Santa, but Jesus.

  6. Judy Says:

    Merry Christmas. When I see or think of Santa, I feel happy. He is so jolly and makes children happy. Ho, ho, ho.

  7. Judith Says:

    Couldn’t resist saying he’s Father Christmas to me! And I was ‘bribed’ not to break the spell for my younger brother by being given the mince pie and (tiny) glass of sherry left out for him on Christmas Eve. I haven’t told him yet, and he’s 64 now. Hope the magic lasts another year for your family.

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