If you’ve been out and around much at all the

last few weeks, you’ve noticed it. It puts a smile on your face, a lilt in your

voice, and a bounce to your step. It usually appears around Thanksgiving and

unfortunately, lingers only a few weeks.

It is as warm as the smiling sun overhead, as

solid as the ground at our feet, and as satisfying as a warm fire on a frigid


I call it the Christmas Magic.

Okay, so that’s corny, as in lame, but you can’t

deny that in the last few weeks, most folks seem to be just a tad bit more

jolly, a tiny bit more patient, and a teeny bit more cheerful.

That magic is intangible, beyond one’s touch,

but, mysteriously, still as palpable as Aunt May’s homemade rum and bourbon


Caught up in the joyful ambiance of Christmas,

I, as many, wish that intangible wisp of enchantment could last year around.

The pragmatic side of our psyches insist it’s

only natural that after the first of the year to wake up with the disturbing

feeling that something is missing. And no, I’m not talking about the hole in

our bank accounts.

We’ve just spent days and weeks in anticipation

of Christmas Day and then New Years. And because we were so anticipating the

gaiety and cheerfulness of the holidays, once they are behind us, there comes a

natural let down.

But there is no reason for that Christmas magic

that fills the Season of Giving to fade away just because the calendar changes.

As I crept up the ladder of age, I came to

realize why my father and mother always replied ?I don’t need a thing, when

asked what they wanted for Christmas.

Sound familiar.

At my age, I don’t need anything thing. I get a

kick out of seeing the delight sparkle in the eyes of those to whom I’ve given

what I could afford.

If you’ll look around, you’ll see that despite

the problems we face, usually our blessings outweigh them. Might not seem like

it at the moment, but Santa Claus is with us year around, or can be if we make

the effort.

Don’t think so?

Recently, I read a delightful article in Newsweek Online

of a mother’s concern that her seven-year-old would learn there was no Santa


Over the years, being the loving parent she

obviously is, she had enhanced the magic of Christmas for her son by

encouraging him to help with the decorations, add to the crèche, bake cookies,

and yes, even spread reindeer food in the snow to light the way for Santa.

Can’t you just imagine the excitement coursing

through that little guy’s veins? At the end of the article, she expressed

relief that he had managed this Christmas still believing in old Saint Nick,

but she had the feeling that sometime before next year, he would learn the


She ended the article with the observation that

despite what he might learn, as long as he believes, he will enjoy that special

magic year around.

Perhaps that is where so many of us go wrong.

Somewhere along the way we stop believing in Santa Claus just because those

beliefs fly in the face of logic. I have a couple good friends who have reached

the four score and ten mark who believe in Santa Claus, and I kid you not,

nowhere will you find a couple jollier or more cheerful gentlemen. They brim

with the anticipation of life and the excitement of each passing day.

F.P. Church said it much better than I in his

response to Virginia O’Hanlon when she queried the New York Sun on the

existence of Santa Claus. ?Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as

certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they

abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.?

There was not a soul in the world who could say

that Santa did not exist if they witnessed the sparkle in the eyes and the

broad grin on the faces of my two youngest grandsons, Keegan and Mikey, as they

hop on their scooters or fire up their space rockets on Christmas morning.

That same excitement is no different in homes

around the world. It’s just that during the Christmas holidays the love for one’s

fellow man is even more pronounced.

But if you look, if you pay attention, you’ll

see proof of Santa’s existence throughout the year. Perhaps it isn’t as

noticeable among the stories of mayhem and murder, but it exists.

You’ll never convince that single mother there’s

no Santa Claus after her son was given a new wheelchair by the Shiner’s to

replace his dilapidated one. And what about the little girl who won a raffle at

school and put aside her own wish for a beautiful little doll so she could

instead select a hand-sewn blanket she knew her invalid mother admired?

No Santa Claus?

In Minneapolis, a parent was hit with unexpected

car repair bills just before the holidays, wiping out the family’s Christmas

budget. When she went to pick up the vehicle, a stranger had paid the bill. You

think that family doubts the existence of Santa Claus?

And who is it that drops a $1700. gold

Kruggerrand in the Salvation Army’s pot every year? Who is it paying off Walmart

and K Mart layaways around the country?

No one can tell me that the spirit of Christmas

is not alive throughout the year. It’s just that in the midst of our hustle and

bustle, it sometimes takes a back seat, but it is always there, waiting to be

dusted off.

As long as the human heart is filled with

understanding and compassion, there will always be a Santa Claus, three hundred

and sixty-five days a year.