This I Believe

Robert - Las Vegas, Nevada
Entered on August 8, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: children

I believe in Santa Claus.

Strange as that sounds coming from an adult, Santa is very real and has mythical powers and abilities that most of us can only wish we possessed.

I work full-time in administration with at-risk children in Nevada in our county’s shelter for abused and neglected children. At any given time we can have 200 or more children under our protection.

Children from backgrounds that include drug use, prostitution, pornograohy, neglect and abuse come alive when Santa enters their young lives, no matter the season. The difficulties, problems and heart-wrenching circumstances that brought the children to the shelter in the first place are temporarily forgotten.

At our facility, Santa is a part of staff. While not dressed in full Christmas outfit all year long, clothing of red and a full white beard are evident at all times. Candy and Santa stickers are also ever-present.

Any visit by Santa to the residential cottages can create pandemonium when normal activities are disrupted as the children run to hug Santa and ask a multitude of questions about the reindeer, his sleigh, toys, his elves, and of course, the beard.

Never let it be said that teens are too old for Santa, because they too approach him to talk with and “high five” him. Staff have also been known to ask for stickers, candy and to have pictures taken with Santa while on his cottage visitations year ‘round.

These brief times with Santa create periods of joy for the children.

Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Père Noël, or whatever name you know him by, are all descendants of St. Nicholas, who believed in God and God’s love and doing God’s work by blessing and serving those who had contact with him. He, in turn was blessed by both God and those he touched.

The shelter’s Santa receives many rich blessings as he serves the children. At times he has difficulty speaking because of a lump in his throat due to the knowledge of the many difficulties which face the children.

I know this to be fact because, you see, I am that Santa.

I believe and will continue to believe in Santa Claus and the love he brings to the lives of the children he touches.