is there a santa claus?

santa-clausPerhaps there are a few of you who struggle with the concept of Santa Claus, and whether or not he actually exists.  Perhaps a tale from my son’s childhood will convince you.

Years ago, one weekend prior to Christmas, Taylor invited several of his friends to spend the night.  Upon arriving, I asked the parents if it was okay to take the boys Christmas “looking” at the mall.  Of course, they agreed.

You have no idea what it was like driving that crew of anxious shippers around the town.  We had a ball.

I still don’t think those parents appreciate the guidance I gave their young boys as they shopped for the “perfect” Christmas gift for their parents.

One lad was convinced he needed to purchase his mother some pajamas from Victoria’s Secret.  Not that I am opposed to gifts from Victoria’s—but something tells me I would have had a lot of explaining to do that day if we ventured there.

Another of Taylor’s pals wanted to buy his mother an Atlanta Braves baseball cap.  He tried to convince me his mother was a huge Braves fan.  I’m sure she was, but I was not brave enough to let him spend money on the cap.  I suggested a Braves coffee mug.  I do not know if he ever took my advice.

The day took a decided twist when one of the little fellows contested there was no such thing as Santa Claus.  Once the comment was made, the debate ensued.

I tried to remain above the fray.  My job was to deliver the boys to each destination safely.  Yet, before long, I was forcefully dragged into the debate.

“So what do you think, pastor, is Santa real or not” asked the ring leader?

I dabbled with diversion.

“Where do you guys want to eat lunch?” I asked.

They persisted.

“Yeah, what do you think Mr. Ryan?  Is there such a thing as Santa Claus?”

I experimented with delay.

“Let me make a phone call, boys.”

I called Vonda for guidance.  She laughed and reminded me this was my idea, and that I was on my own.  A lot of help she is.

Finally, the time of decision was upon me.  All eyes were on their pastor.  What would he say?  Then I responded to their question with a question.  Responding to an inquiry with an inquiry is a great tool to use when you do not know what to say or when you do not know what you are talking about.  Responding to a question with a question makes you sound smart.

I said, “Guys, I am not sure if there is a Santa or not.  What do you think?”

By now, two of the four remaining boys were leaning toward the fifth child’s argument that Santa did not exist.  Only Taylor and his closet pal were uncertain.

Then Taylor summoned the courage to speak up.

“Guys,” my little tyke commented, “there has to be a Santa.  Surely you don’t think our parents would spend that kind of money or stay up all night putting together those toys.”

There was a pause, a long pause.  Minds were spinning.  Brains were ticking.

Taylor’s comment rang with clarity.  What he said made sense to most of the group.  Apparently it made sense to two of the boys who had earlier waffled on the idea.  Now the argument was back to four against one.  Santa had to exist.

“Sure, that’s right.  Our parents wouldn’t spend that kind of money.  There has to be a Santa,” said another pal.

For that day, at least, the debate was settled.  Santa was real, or why else would our parents spend that kind of money or stay up that late piecing together toys?

Thanks to Taylor, I rest my case.  I believe there really is a Santa.


5 Responses to “is there a santa claus?”

  1. December 19, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I’ll remember this the next time I am tempted to buy something large, which comes packaged tightly in a tiny box, and has the words that strike fear into the souls of every dad out there: “Some assembly required.”

  2. 2 Searching
    December 19, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Great story Ryan!
    One of the hardest Christmas mornings for me came when my son was about nine and explored the idea of Santa being a myth. I told him that if he stopped believing then the only gifts he would get would be the ones from family. He awoke to find me true to my word and he cried for an hour or more. It broke my heart in may ways. He is now in his mid twenties and will tell you he definitely believes in Santa Claus. Funny, I find myself missing the days of “some assembly required”, and the visits to the mall and Santa. I still believe…
    Merry Christmas!
    God’s blessings. . . and Peace!

  3. December 19, 2008 at 10:35 am


    We are going through this right now with our eight year old. He’s not quite sure. I think some of the kids at school are telling him different things. What really threw him off the other day is that he got a letter from Santa. He just couldn’t believe it. So I hope that it sparked his interest and innnocence once more. We’re the same way – you don’t believe, you don’t get. 🙂 I still believe. And I’ve been a VERY good boy this year. Santa, I hope you’re reading this.

  4. 4 Tim
    December 19, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Timothy was picking out very expensive gifts to ask santa for this year and I said we cannot afford those gifts. His reply… You Don’t Have To Buy Them, Santa Is Going Bringing Them!!

    I said, Oh that’s right I forgot about that!!

  5. December 22, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    That’s great! I am committed to reply with ‘What do you think?’ I agree. It saves many words and confusion and gives much insight into how my children are maturing as their perspective changes each year. God’s design is always perfect. I’m so glad I’m a human parent; only God has ALL the answers. Love the holiday funnies.

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