Looking for answers to life's questions

In Search of the Real Santa Claus

I’m going out on a limb here and telling you a true Christmas story. I think this was the catalyst for my deep and abiding love of the Christmas season.

I was six, living in Colorado Springs. We had probably not been stationed there more than a few months but I remember being in the first grade there. I also remember being bone cold walking to school in my pink wool coat, leggings, and hat.

I took this in the mall before Thanksgiving

I took this in the mall before Thanksgiving

Dad had returned from a tour of duty in Korea and my baby sister was just learning to walk on the hardwood floors my parents had refinished for a reduced rent. I loved the area as a stream ran close to our house and I would sit for hours listening to it burble.

My dad's cousin Virgie made this ornament. Goes on my tree every year first.

My dad’s cousin Virgie made this ornament. Goes on my tree every year first.

Military families at that time were often struggling with a shortfall of income to expense. To make ends meet, we often got together at the end of the month with other enlisted military families to pool food resources to feed the whole bunch. Christmas was just not on the list of needs and I don’t remember having one before this one.

Six year old’s at school were all excited about Santa Claus. They brought me up to speed and I asked my parents about a tree. Well, dad decided to see what could be done. We piled in our beat-up old car with no heat and took a drive to the woods to see if dad could cut one down. How was I to know we couldn’t afford to buy one?

A peaceful Christmas

A peaceful Christmas

Dad got out his trusty pocket knife and went to work on a small sapling. It wouldn’t budge to the dull blade. I was heartbroken but too cold to complain. Heading back into the house my mom and dad went to un-swaddle my sister. As I stood at the dark door frame, there was a shadow to my right. I called out and asked my parents to come look.

There on the dark porch of our lonely little house, stood a good-sized Christmas tree leaning against the wall. No note nor another human around anywhere. Santa Claus had brought us our very own tree. I don’t think we even had a tree stand but mom and dad just looked at each other so perplexed that I could tell they had no clue where it came from. I was already an experienced reader of people so I was certain they weren’t putting on for my benefit. Santa Claus was re

I believed in Santa for the rest of my life. The Santa that lives in the hearts of kind people who know how to silently and anonymously reach out and give aid to a struggling family. Santa taught me that there was good in a world that is too often demanding and cruel. I didn’t need toys; I had a tree and the scent was luscious. For many years after, while my siblings were still young, I would sit with them in our room while we waited for Santa to come. Then we finally heard the tinkling of his bells way up in the air as he made his way to the top of our apartment building. No, we didn’t need a fireplace. Santa magically dropped the few items for us right through the walls.

These have all found new homes for the holidays

These have all found new homes for the holidays

My parents never knew who put the tree there but I found out later that there was a neighbor who tried to bring my mother a chicken to cook for dinner. Problem was, the chicken was still alive and mom didn’t know how to cook. She gave it back. They took it home, dressed it, cooked it and brought it back. There is good in the world year round and sometimes I call it Santa Claus.

Do you still believe?

May your holiday be everything your heart needs to be full.

Merry Christmas
From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of the Real Santa Claus" (23)

  1. What a lovely post! Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story, Marlene.


  2. I believe! Kindness, small and large certainly goes a long way. Whether it is picking up coffee for the person in line behind us, or simply saying “thanks” to the clerk who is exhausted, but still trying to be cheerful. Merry Christmas!


    • Thanks for reading Missy. Yes, it is the small kindnesses that make the holiday. Always looking for ways to pay it forward. I have trouble taking my tree down at the end of the season because I like to keep the energy of it all year. One year it stayed up till April. 🙂


  3. Now that is the spirit of Christmas! Wonderful story Marlene! As much as we hear about all the bad stuff and bad people, there are good ones out there! Even nowadays. 🙂


  4. That was so dear Marlene, I really enjoyed reading it. It’s heartwarming to know there are people like your old neighbour that will give with kindness and entirely without expectation of any reciprocation. I wonder if they know what a life long impression their generosity made on you. I do believe there are more people like them and by and large, people are good, honest and caring.

    Did you make those ornaments on your embroidery machine? I like the candle. It reminds me of lace work we saw in Venice. Thank you your heartfelt Christmas Wishes and I wish you a joy filled holiday surrounded by those you love most. xo Hugs Kelly


    • Thanks you so much, Kelly. Glad you enjoyed the read. I agree that the world is filled with wonderful, generous people. They just don’t make the news. I doubt they knew what an impression they made and I had no idea it was a neighbor. My parents didn’t either.
      Yes, I made the ornaments on the machine and want to make more. It’s a trial and error process. If you send me your address via e-mail, I’ll send one for your tree next year. I ran out of thread 10 stitches from the end and had to go buy a giant spool so I can do more. I need the practice. 🙂


      • !!! ❤ so so sweet you are. Thank's a ton Marlene 😀 I will if you include yours in return 😀 Deal?


      • Deal. You have to give me time. I’m having a run of company all the way through New Year. I may get some done early this week but no guarantees. My sewing room will be the guest room for the next 3 weeks. 🙂 😦


      • Awesome my dear! Enjoy. If you don’t post before Christmas, I’ll swing by. Love and Cheer xK


  5. Marlene, what a beautiful, heart-felt and joyous story. It brought back a memory of my own of our mom dragging home a tree she bought for a dollar the day before Christmas. Merry Christmas!


  6. willowmarie said:

    Magic Marlene…pure magic!


  7. What a wonderful story, Marlene. Thanks for sharing it. I too believe in Santa. For the past four years of tough times, Santa has sent us a card filled with gift cards that have totaled over $100. Simply Amazing. The generosity of other good people is awe inspiring, isn’t it?


    • Thank you, Barb. It’s especially when it’s anonymous. I want to be the anonymous Santa one day. I keep looking for the opportunity. Thanks for reading. I’m glad things are looking up.


  8. Thanks for a story that made me smile and think about similar stories I have heard from my mother.


  9. Very nice storytelling. Thanks for the like on the year-end collaborative post I led. Do you have many stories of Korea? I’ve never gone back – since leaving at the age of four. My Black Santa/Racist post generated the most comments of all my posts, though the year-end post is inching its way to it. If you are inclined, I would love your thoughts on Black Santa.

    Thanks for the visit, and the best to you in the new year.



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