JOLLY GOOD: Anyone can be a Santa Claus, you just have to embrace the spirit of giving.
JOLLY GOOD: Anyone can be a Santa Claus, you just have to embrace the spirit of giving. Ashley Clark

What Christmas lie?

I READ an article recently - which in itself isn't remarkable, it is my job after all - but one that certainly piqued my interest in all things Christmas.

The writer told of her regret after informing her child the truth about Santa Claus.

Intrigued, I presumed this mother must have boned up on her history of one Mr C - a monk named St Nicholas from what is now Turkey during 280AD - who gave up his inheritance to travel the countryside and help the needy, mostly children.

But no, there was no history lesson.

Perplexed, but by no means disheartened, I persisted.

Perhaps she had the longitude and latitude of a certain workshop in the Arctic Circle? But no... no address.

The paparazzi have tried hard to determine that titbit of information with no success for aeons.

I'd have been impressed if she'd a) figured it out and b) not been coerced into a happy silence with her name going on the nice list for all eternity.

No.

Her article was about how she told her child that Santa was not real.

I know.

Call President Trump, we actually have some fake news going on.

This article - this unreliable reporting, this festive falsehood, this harbinger of humbugs - somehow graced the news sites.

Now, far be it for me to cast blame upon the editors who missed this treachery but let me lay waste to these rumours.

Santa Claus is real.

Not the dude in costume at the shopping centre. He is nice and he does have connections, but he is not the Real Deal.

I'm talking about the man who magically comes to homes and delivers the goods.

I remember one year hearing a similar story that Santa was make-believe.

That year I asked my dad if I could be the person to put the presents under the tree.

He agreed.

He told me where he hid the presents and I duly waited till the house was still before I crept out of my bedroom and headed for the stash of gifts.

But Christmas Eve began to feel more like Halloween. It was dark and I kept hearing strange noises. Heavy footsteps, something tinkling.

I dumped the gifts and bolted for the safety of my doona.

As I ran by my window, I had a glimpse of the cane field outside... the stalks of cane suddenly flattened out by a gust of wind, then shook and rattled as if a jet - or a sleigh - had just gone over.

In the morning, I saw the gifts I had dumped by the tree.

And on the kitchen table, were two gifts I hadn't seen before with a note, "from Santa”.

I took two lessons from that. He is real. But more importantly, anyone can be a Santa Claus, you just mustn't be scared to embrace the spirit of giving.

Peta Jo is an author and mother of three and wishes all families a very Merry Christmas.



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