Santa’s Resurrection

The glass of milk that Heather and her little brother Aiden had set out for Santa was now warm. They had gone to bed an hour ago, but were up for the third time. Each time they came downstairs, Heather made sure that the present she had made for Aiden was still properly placed under the tree.

“If you don’t get to bed, Santa will never come!” said Mom, who wished that she could go to bed even if her children didn’t want to.

Suddenly, and with a certain inspiration, Dad rose from the kitchen chair where he had been nibbling on Santa’s cookies. He cocked his head and looked up. Four little eyes looked up with him.

“Shhh . . . Listen . . . I think I hear something on the roof!”

It took a second for Heather to digest the meaning of those words and when she did, she ran squealing upstairs, Aiden following suit.

Mom and Dad smiled at each other when they heard what they were listening for, which was the muffled thump of little bodies landing on their respective mattresses. Fifteen minutes later, they heard what they were really listening for, which was nothing. Finally, they were able to finish their Christmas chores without risk of interruption. The final chore was the piling of presents under the tree, some labeled “From Mom and Dad” while others were labeled “From Santa.”

From their bed the next morning, Mom and Dad heard one set of footsteps pad down the stairs, stop, and then come bounding up the stairs.

“Aiden! He came! Santa’s been here!”

The ensuing hour was a riot of wrapping paper, smiles, and hugs. Heather was in charge of handing out the gifts, but a troubled look flashed across her face as she handed one in particular to her brother.

“This one’s from Santa, Aiden . . . Hmm, Santa uses the same wrapping paper as you do, Momma.”

Heather had saved the present that she had made for Aiden for the very last. She didn’t make it really, but she had painted the flimsy wooden frame just so and applied special stickers in very particular places. Heather had placed inside the frame her favorite of the many photos of Aiden and her. She had even wrapped the gift herself.

Aiden tugged at the paper, succeeded in removing it, and smiled when he saw the photo.

“It’s you and me, Heaver!”

“Do you like it?”

“I really do!”

After dinner, while Aiden was napping and Mom and Dad were cleaning up, Heather put down a new crayon and entered the kitchen. She was troubled. There had been rumors at school, and she had started to wonder herself how Santa could get any work done if he appeared at the mall every weekend during December.

“There is no Santa Claus, is there?”

Mom put down a dirty dish and gathered in her daughter before confirming that this was true.

“I kind of thought so,” was all that Heather said and she returned to her coloring.

Five minutes later, she was back in the kitchen.

“Then, there’s no Easter Bunny either?”

This truth was again confirmed and again Heather returned to her coloring.

Five minutes later, she was back in the kitchen for a third time, only now her lips were quivering.

“That means the tooth fairy isn’t real is she?”

Santa Claus was one thing and the Easter Bunny was never quite plausible to begin with, but to lose those two and the tooth fairy–and lose them forevermore–was just too much to bear. Heather burst into tears.

Mom sat down and pulled Heather onto her lap while Dad stroked her head gently. They made it better.

With the tears dried, and to get her mind off herself, Mom asked Heather to run upstairs and check on Aiden. He was still asleep, but she quickly left the room and raced down the steps for a second time that day.

“Momma! Aiden put his picture on his nightstand! He really likes it! He really likes it.” Mom smiled at Heather who returned to her coloring a happier and also wiser girl, although she did not know that yet.

Thus, it had become a very important Christmas; the Santa who climbs down chimneys and lives at the North Pole had died, but he had been replaced by the real Santa, that is the one who lives in the hearts of all who are willing to give of themselves, a long list of folks which now included one little girl named Heather.

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About Austin Gisriel

You know the guy that records a baseball game from the West Coast in July and doesn't watch it until January just to see baseball in the winter? That's me. I'm a writer always in search of a good story, baseball or otherwise.
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21 Responses to Santa’s Resurrection

  1. Bonnie Lane says:

    This is a precious story, Austin. I love it!

    Like

  2. Anyone who desires a pdf copy of “Santa’s Resurrection” may simply request one by e-mailing me at agisriel at yahoo.com

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  3. Martha Gisriel says:

    Tears are running down my cheeks as I recall this conversation with Sarah as she came to the growing realization about each of these in turn. I will never forget that the Tooth Fairy was the most difficult one for her to accept. Ahh, the joys and heartaches of being a parent . . . You captured the story beautifully, Austin.

    Like

  4. Larry Bryant says:

    Good morning Austin,

    This was awesome! Ironically, our oldest daughter is named Heather. As I read your words, I sat and recalled the feeling I had as a child on Christmas eve. Then a couple of decades later, I was experiencing our eager daughters running to bed when they thought Santa was on the roof. And finally, the day each of them learned the reality of Santa. We are pleased that the cycle completed full circle. Now, our daughters are the Santa, to their children, and their hearts are fulfilled with the giving versus the receiving.

    Thanks for delivering your story and bringing memories back to the forefront that should be kept in our thought on a daily basis.

    Austin, have a wonderful Christmas and the best New Year ever!

    Larry

    Like

    • It is a Cycle, Larry, and it’s amazing how fast that Cycle spins! Being the Santa reminds me of coaching. Playing was a thrill, but you become so much more emotionally invested in your players’ experiences than you were in your own. Thanks for the kind words and my your Holidays be filled with memories–old AND new!

      Like

  5. Don Hoover says:

    Austin,
    Just when I thought you couldn’t top the last story, you came through again! My Christmas Memories came flooding back as well, & it was heart breaking when Mary told me the truth about Santa last year!

    Like

  6. Don Hoover says:

    Funny thing is though, I told Mary when she stopped believing in Santa, she would get Under Wear for Christmas!

    Like

  7. Cindy Everly says:

    Ali took the news about Santa in stride but John was really mad at me for “lying” to him!

    Like

  8. Chip Greene says:

    Hey, wait a minute. Are you telling me this is all true? There’s actually no Santa Claus? I’m sensing a conspiracy here.

    Well done, my friend.

    Like

  9. Don Hoover says:

    Chip,
    I am only 62, and as I said, I was heart broken when my wife broke the news to me last year

    Like

  10. Don Hoover says:

    This story is one that has left an impression on so many people. I remember one Christmas Eve, a little after midnight when my Grandfather came to visit, and shouted Ho Ho Ho, & I sprung up out of my bed, thinking it was Santa. Austin, as I reflect on this Masterpiece that you have written, I am truly grateful for the fond Memories of Christmas past, & Christmases yet to come, being a Grandparent myself.

    Like

    • Don, I’m looking forward to grandparenthood rejuvenating my Christmas spirit! Again, thanks for your kind words
      [NOTE: To Becky and (especially) Sarah, this is not a hint. Carry on as before.]

      Like

  11. Jerry Lane says:

    Austin, this is your best yet. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  12. Don Hoover says:

    Austin, (And all his readers) How sad what took place on Friday, with all of those babies being taken away from their families. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain they are going through. M heart goes out to them, as well as the families of the 6 adults who lost their lives as well. Even though none of this makes any sense, they are now resting in the arms of the one who gave them life, as brief as is was, Our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. May god bless all of you.

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    • A horrific event, Don, and in our haste to feel better and get over our collective pain, we’ll probably pass useless, if not destructive laws and blame the wrong people. We have yet to ask the right question in these situations, which is what are WE as a culture doing that produces these madmen. We should NOT rush to get over this pain; we should linger and reflect and so some serious self-examination. I’ll have more to say on this in another week or so for what it will be worth.

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