Santa mat­ters Ian's Ru­ral Ram­blings

The McLeod River Post - - Points Of View - Ian McInnes

When I was grow­ing up in the late 1950s and 1960s, yes, I am that old folks, I be­lieved in Santa. As time went by of course and my logic chip kicked in I re­alised that it was nigh on im­pos­si­ble for one per­son to do so much in one night even with the help of magic and time zones. I also saw may par­ents creep in to my bed­room too, Yet, I wanted to be­lieve even when I knew the truth.

Or did I? When I was about ten years old I was liv­ing with my par­ents in a house on the out­skirts of Bris­tol in the UK. Not quite ru­ral but a fif­teen­minute walk would get you into the fields. We had no heat­ing then and it was a cold Christ­mas Eve for the UK that year. There was snow on the ground and my bed­room win­dows were com­pletely frosted over.

With the cat for com­pany and a lit­tle warmth I slept fit­fully. I was ex­cited. My par­ents would not come into my room un­til the hour be­fore dawn. I do not know what time it was but I woke up with a start and looked to the win­dow. The cat was look­ing too. I heard bells in the dis­tance. They got closer and I swore some­thing passed over the house, go­ing fast the bells tin­kling. I saw a shadow. It was im­pos­si­ble to see out of the win­dow. The mem­ory has al­ways en­dured and I have never been able to ex­plain it. Peo­ple com­ing home from the pub? Maybe a prank? But the shadow over the house? It was too big for a bird and too low and quiet for any kind of plane or glider.

My wife and I have had ten chil­dren. Each one has put stock­ings out and each one has cot­toned on to who is Santa even­tu­ally. We ex­plained to them when they were old enough that Santa was in all of us, a spirit if you will, and one day when they in turn have chil­dren, they too will be­come Santa. Some of them have, more of them will. Merry Christ­mas every­body.

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