a story by Michelle Stockard Miller
Sam stared out the window at the falling snow. As it hit the glass, it melted and trickled down the pane, matching the tears sliding down his cheeks. He could not stop thinking about the taunting voice on the bus ride home.
“Sam believes in Santa, Santa, Santa!” sang Tommy, loud enough for the entire bus to hear.
Sam just looked out the window and didn’t say anything, but he could feel the tears rushing toward the surface. “I can’t let them see me cry,” he thought.
“Leave him alone, Tommy,” Sarah said. “It’s none of your business what he believes.” She turned around in the seat and said, “Don’t listen to him, Sam. He’s just a big bully.”
“Thanks Sarah,” he said, but he really didn’t feel any better. He got off the bus at his stop and walked home, feeling the tears start to break free.
His mother’s footsteps startled him out of his memory. She laid her hand on his shoulder and said, “It’s really starting to come down out there. If it keeps up, you won’t have school tomorrow.”
“Good,” he said. “I don’t want to go anyway.”
She could tell that something was wrong by the tone in his voice. She crouched down and turned him toward her. “What’s wrong, honey? Did something happen at school?” She wiped at the tears on his cheeks with her hand.
“Tommy was teasing me about Santa again,” he said.
Mom sighed. “That boy, he just does not know the meaning of Christmas spirit. I don’t know why a ten year old boy feels the need to tease someone about what they believe just because he doesn’t.”
“Sarah told him to mind his own business."
“Well, good for her. She’s a good friend to you, Sam.” She looked out the window again, a worried look on her face. “I hope your Grandfather is still going to make it for supper. It’s getting worse out there.” She turned around and said, “Sam, don’t you worry about that Tommy. We know what the truth is and that’s all there is to it. It’s going to be hard to say you believe and not get teased, but that’s the way things have to be. Now run upstairs and wash up. Your Grandfather should be here any minute.”
Sam walked up the stairs and went into the bathroom. As he washed his hands, he thought about what Mom said and he knew it was the truth. He knew it would never be easy. He dried his hands on the towel and looked toward the window. He heard a thud on the roof. He rushed downstairs and ran into the kitchen. There stood a plump man with white hair and beard, dressed all in red and green.
“Grandpa!” Sam cried. He ran to the man and gave him a big hug. At that moment, he knew he would never feel ashamed for believing again.
Yes, Sam’s grandfather is Santa Claus and every person in Santa’s family must make it known that they believe. Otherwise, the magic will disappear. That is how the magic of Santa has survived for hundreds of years. The Claus family must believe and share that belief with the world, whatever the consequence. As the world increasingly stops believing in the magic, the only thing keeping it alive is the family. Until the world starts to believe again, the family tradition must carry the torch.
So the next time you find yourself scoffing at the idea of Santa, you might want to think twice. To believe is magic. It’s time to believe!