Will The Real Santa Please Stand Up?
© Copyright 2022 by Deon Matzen
Photo by Mike Arney on Unsplash
Charlotte is my sister-in-law. Not her real name. She is a single lady who has worked a number of various jobs during her lifetime. During the times of Covid, she was furloughed and without employment. When she was not taken back to the firm where she had worked, she decided to apply for her social security and move on to a life of retirement. Now she had more time on her hands.
Quite a few years ago while she was still working, Charlotte took on a part time job as “auntie” to two boys when they were quite small. She would make sure they got off to school on time with their lunches, looking in decent form for the day. When they returned home she would provide a snack and help them do their homework, staying until one of the parents returned home.
Charlotte had helped with the boy’s mother from the time she was born and it seemed natural that she would continue for the next generation.
Often the family would invite her to participate in holiday events, birthdays and special occasions. Charlotte even got her JP license in order to marry the Mom and Dad when the time came for them to marry. After the boys came along she would take them on excursions during her time off, to the zoo, the park, the beach or just plan projects for them to work on during their spare time.
My other sister-in-law and her husband, my brother-in-law worked during the Christmas season as Santa and Mrs. Santa in a town a couple of hours from Charlotte. She decided to take the boys to visit Santa in the weeks before Christmas. A big day was planned with other events such as shopping for presents for Mom and Dad, having lunch and visiting Santa to deliver their Christmas requests.
When they got to the event to talk to Santa, he called to each by name.
“Mikey, what are you doing today? Is Auntie Charlotte taking you shopping for Christmas? What did you have in mind for yourself? What do you want for Christmas?”
Mikey was very impressed. Santa even knew who he was and who is auntie was. He hadn’t realized that Santa knew his “customers” so well. But it seemed reasonable since he knew the naughty and nice kids for the deliveries of their presents. He would have to know who to give lumps of coal if they were naughty.
The year went by and Christmas rolled around again. Auntie Charlotte planned the shopping, lunch and Santa outing again for that year. The day was glorious and the boys had a wonderful time with lunch out at their favorite place, visiting Santa and buying presents for Mom and Dad and ice skating at a local shopping mall.
When the day was over and the two weary boys were headed back home, Mikey, the younger, leaned over to Auntie Charlotte in the car and said,
“You know, that wasn’t a real Santa.”
Charlotte thought the age of innocence has now passed and Mikey no longer believes. Sad, but part of growing up.
Charlotte replied, “How do you know he wasn’t real? She was expecting to hear that there was no such thing as Santa.
Instead Mikey replied, “He didn’t even know my name. That’s how!”
It wasn’t until many years later when the boys were in their teens that they finally put together that the “real” Santa was Auntie Charlotte’s brother-in-law.