In the spirit of believing

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It has come to my attention that parents, particularly at this time of year, spend a lot of time worrying themselves silly over one thing and one thing only, a concern so deep it literally wakes them from a sound sleep, apoplectic over some concern relating to: Santa.
Yes. Really.
Forget Bird Flu. Forget a seventeen trillion percent rise in home heating cost the real issue here people is the jolly red-suited guy.
Doubt. Talk to the parent of any small(ish) child these days and they are simply all atwitter over the risks and realities inherent in their child’s involvement – and their own investment – in Santa Claus.
Look, I’m not one to stomp all over anyone’s hard-earned angst, but let me be the first to say: Relax. Get over it. Santa can handle himself.
All this concern about children “questioning” Santa is wildly overrated. Look, my children “question” the validity of vegetables, bathing, and not kissing the dog on the lips at regular intervals – this doesn’t make any of these issues less “real.”
Flaws, you say? Still, otherwise sane and reasonable adults will incessantly question the so called “flaws” in the Santa Space-Time continuum.
So how do you explain that Santa is as omnipresent as Starbucks these days.
How can he possibly be at the mall, two parades, and grandma’s house too? Seriously?
My kids believe the guy can get, and I quote, “eight tiny reindeer” to not only fly but all in the same dang direction!
This when we cannot get two dogs to walk together in any kind of reasonable formation to save our lives.
Elves. This same mythical man can also get elves (elves? Who has elves I ask you?) to make the exact same toys we see at Toys R Us – and probably for a fraction of the cost.
I have no idea what elfen wages might be of course but the fringe benefits must be minuscule.
Certainly they are in an HMO? Surely there’s only one hospital at the North Pole.
He has yet to be written up by OSHA or the EPA on the whole “lump of coal” thing?
Miracles. Think about it, the man threatens to hand out carcinogenic substances to “bad little children” and no trial lawyer has gotten a hold of that yet? And you say there are no miracles?
Furthermore, this same jolly old fellow can then traverse the world – the entire WORLD – to deliver all these gifts during less than 24 hours. Meanwhile the USPS has yet to locate a Christmas card I sent to my grandmother in 1997.
Finally, He can also eat about a gazillion cookies and guzzle untold gallons of milk before returning home and while yes he is a tad, ahem, portly, you rarely hear of Santa being forced into some Jenny Craig confessional moment on Oprah now do you?
Meanwhile if Mommy so much as looks at an Oreo she gains three pounds.
All of this is known by children the world over even before we get into the whole “sees you when you’re sleeping, knows when you’re awake” stalker side of Santa that is, frankly, a tad creepy. Clearly, to be at grandmother’s house, the mall, and riding a fire truck in no less than two local parades almost simultaneously is no problem. Remember, the man has “eight tiny reindeer” who can FLY for pity’s sake! It’s not like he’s trying to get all over the globe in an ’88 Civic hatchback.
Smart. If you need a more “scientific” explanation (those of you raising those over educated know-it-all-kids, you know who YOU are), consider this: No known species of reindeer can fly.
But there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not completely rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
On that note, to the “doubters” among us who negate the existence of such a noble man as Santa simply because they’ve never seen him, I have only one thing to say.
I’ve never seen a million dollars, but I’m willing to concede that such a thing does indeed exist.
Furthermore, if Santa would like to prove it to me he can drop in anytime.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt believes in anyone who brings her chocolate. She welcomes comments c/o kfs@epohi.com; P.O. Box 38, Salem, Ohio 44460; or http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt.)

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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