I, on the other hand, had the honour of living with Santa Claus. Oh, I had no idea at the time. I never spied the red velvet suit. Nor did I get a tickle by the mass of snowy white beard. I never had reindeer doody duty, either.
The following story was written by my father. He submitted his theory on Santa Claus to our local newspaper, The Kankakee Daily Journal. I'm unable to give you the exact date (Maureen would know.) I can recall him sitting at our family dining table lamenting over the proper way to honour his perception of Jolly Old St. Nick. His glasses perched on his nose; looking over the top of them as I tromped about disturbing his train of thought. He'd say very little, but the image of him thinking with his index finger pressed against the tip of his nose is vivid. He'd toil over the spelling and grammar. His thoughts put to paper were always given to mom to be proofed. I love having been a part of it all even if it was only as an observer.
Recently, Maureen and I were looking through boxes at her former home. She unearthed a Rubbermaid container that revealed its contents as memorabilia of our parents. I cried as I lay eyes on both mom and dad's handwritten notes, recipes and this story.
This is a dedication to all the moms and grandmas from my father. God Bless.
Will the Real Santa Claus Stand Up
By Harold L. Rapier (1926-1999)
First, who is it – as soon as Christmas is passed – begins all over again, going on countless sprees, taking in every sale and coming home with hoards of purchases only to have them mysteriously disappear and never seen again until Christmas Eve?
Second, who is it in every household heralds in the new Christmas Season by going about in a state of euphoria, tirelessly filling every room with the sights and sounds and smells that are common to this holiday season until it ignites the Christmas spirit in every member of the household?
Third, Santa is commonly described as being “small, round, warm, and jolly”. Now, tell me, how many fathers and grandfathers you know can fit that description? However, it is my contention that, if you were to dress the typical Grandmother in a Santa costume with padding, whiskers and all, you would produce a storybook facsimile of Jolly Ole Saint Nick every time!
Furthermore, even though I have no tangible proof nevertheless, I believe that the Mothers and Grandmothers purposely contrived this Christmas Myth to mask their own selfless and undying love for children, and to set a shining example for we fathers and grandfathers in hopes that we will endeavor to imitate it in the coming years.
Now, if this be so, then we all owe a deep debt of gratitude to that special woman in our lives who, every year, shares her joyful love with us manifested in the image of Santa Claus to make our homes a blessed and happy place each and every Christmas!
In conclusion, I pray that God has reserved a special place in His Kingdom for His Missionaries of peace and love: Our Brides, Our Mothers, and Grandmothers.
Harold L. Rapier
The date on this photo is perplexing as my father passed away in 1999. I believe it may be a photo taken of the original.