By Dorothy Denne
Does anyone out there know what happened to September, October and November? How did we get to December? Hard to believe, but here we are. Sets me to thinking and reminiscing.
Back in the long ago when I was growing up, kids remained innocent longer than they do today. Some would call it innocent. Some would call it ignorant. Some would call it stupid. I call it wonderful. I searched the midnight sky looking for Santa Claus beyond the age that many modern kids are searching the Internet for action or porn movies.
I learned very early about Baby Jesus and about Santa Claus. God had Baby Jesus born on Christmas Day to teach us to be good little girls and boys. Then his spirit (the Holy Ghost) was around us all the time to help us. Once a year, at Christmas time, God sent Santa down from the North Pole to see if we were listening carefully to what God and Baby Jesus were telling us. Simple? Yeah, but it worked. It made a good little girl out of me – most of the time. Especially in December.
We lived on a farm in my early years. We had no TV or Internet. In fact, we had no electricity. Our radio was powered by a big battery about the size of an automobile battery. I listened for reports from the North Pole. I didn’t realize how far away the kids who lived on the other side of the world really were. Southern Ohio was my whole world. It was perfectly possible to believe Santa could make the entire trip in a few hours.
There was only one Santa Claus. He came to Zanesville on Saturdays in December and sat by the big Christmas tree on the courthouse esplanade. He must have come really early in the morning because he always arrived before the kids who came from all over to talk with him. We bundled up in boots, snow pants, heavy jackets, mufflers and mittens and stood in line in the snow. It was worth it. Santa gave us a candy cane. It was smart to pet the reindeer before you got your candy cane. They liked them too.
Today, Santas arrive in fire trucks, helicopters and limousines. Kids can have breakfast with him at dozens of places, all at the same time. He sits in dozens of air-controlled malls and stores, all at the same time. He stands ringing a bell on dozens of street corners, all at the same time. He shows up at dozens of Christmas parties, all at the same time. One minute he is fat and jolly. The next he is skinny and scrawny and his beard has turned to cotton. What’s a kid to believe?
Who’s the real one? How long can kids hang on to innocence? Once they’ve learned to count, they’ve lost it. Baby Jesus is politically incorrect and Santa is a fake.
Me? I still believe in Baby Jesus. As for Santa Claus, call me innocent, ignorant or stupid, but I still believe in him too. I’d like to believe the real one is spending December Saturdays sitting on the courthouse esplanade in Zanesville, Ohio.
Save my candy cane, Santa. I’m trying to listen.