I’m really starting to wonder if Santa Claus does exist after all.
I realize most people realize by age 10 or so that Santa is a fable.
But I’m not one to jump to conclusions. Therefore, I’ve never officially admitted that Santa falls into the same category as the Easter Bunny.
It didn’t take me long to figure out as a kid that the Easter Bunny was bogus. Come on now, how the hell does a rabbit carry an Easter basket when he doesn’t have hands?
Plus, I know rabbits are quicker than a hiccup, but without transportation, how could the Easter Bunny actually cover the planet in one day? At least Santa has his sleigh and reindeer working for him.
Still, my doubt in Santa really accelerated last Christmas. And as this Christmas approaches faster than a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird jet, my cynicism is big enough to hang ornaments on.
I was a good boy in 2017 and asked just for one present. I wrote Santa a very lovely letter, explaining why I no longer wanted to be seen driving around town in my crummy 2006 Pontiac.
After all, nobody makes Pontiacs anymore. Not even elves.
So I asked Santa for a new bronze Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 1LT.
I thought this was a reasonable ask, since the sticker price was a mere $60,000 or so, not much more than what a shirt cost in 1847 if you factor in inflation.
Considering that my Christmas gift requests over the decades have been remarkably frugal, I figured that Santa would gleefully fork over the Corvette.
Well, old Jelly Belly stiffed me. Big Time.
So I’m still stuck driving my ancient jalopy, which has nowhere near the 460 horsepower of the Corvette Stingray. Granted, the Vette seats only two but our two kids no longer are kids and have moved on.
And it wasn’t as if I was asking for a gas guzzler. The Stingray gets 16 miles per gallon city and 25 highway – not exorbitantly thirsty for its muscled-up V-8 engine.
I’m wrestled over whether I wanted to waste another stamp in mailing Santa a letter this year. Suffice it to say, my illusions had been shattered. And I’m not sure if the passage of time over the past year put all the pieces back together.
So I decided to make the ask in person. And to be more reasonable in my request.
I sat on Santa’s lap this year, looked him squarely in the eye and politely asked for a Kenworth Toy Dump Truck Model W900.
Santa squinted in disgust, pushed me off his lap and with nary a ho, ho, ho, he growled: “Grow up, you big kid! You can buy that toy truck for $27.17 on Amazon.”
Needless to say, I couldn’t have been more shocked if I found the actual North Pole standing in my foyer. Now my belief in Santa Claus has been further fissured but not fractured.
Indeed, it’s inordinately difficult to let go of something that has been with you since childhood. Because so doing leaves an emptiness so lonely that an echo can’t survive.
Just ask any 10-year-old.