“Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

Or so we were told. In every mall on every corner is Kris Kringle. Waiting to hear the secrets and wishes of children who believe.
Babies scream, the suit is hot but the rewards out way the bads.

For some children, such as myself, we go through dusty boxes of old photos. Times gone by. A different era, only to find a handsome Irish Santa handing oranges to children in the winter of 1968 while home from Vietnam. Was this the same Santa who ate the cookies and drank the milk my brother and I set out every Christmas Eve? When us siblings would circle items in the Montgomery Wards catalog, did our Santa make sure the elves got our order just right?

These pictures uncovered a story I will never have the opportunity to find out.

Years pass. I marry into a family of community oriented people. Every Christmas Eve while parents awaited the arrival of Santa by the Mineral County Sheriff deputies, a transformation would begin at Santa headquarters.

My father in law, Glenn, would begin the painstaking task of powdering and coloring. A velvet suit was pressed and black boots shined. He would begin to become Santa Claus.

My children grew up watching him change before their small eyes. One minute he was Gramps. The next, Santa!

They would brag at school. They knew who the real Santa was. While children disbelieved, Glenn knew who was naughty and who was nice.

In today’s world of over the top Christmas decorations and gift giving it is refreshing to know that traditions such as Santa has not been lost.

I am one of the few who can say that both my dad and my father-in-law were Santa.

Never stop believing. You may run across a picture, browned with time or the man on the corner of 1st and B Streets and think to yourself, “Did I just meet Old St. Nick?”