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Santa Claus


I’ve been casing about for a holiday topic for this blog – and coming up empty with my own

thoughts. So, here is a story from the author GK Chesterton which I found in a wonderful book “Spiritual Literacy. Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life” by Frederick and Mary Ann Brussat.



Chesterton is telling a story about how he learned the truth about Santa Claus as a child – and how he has come to think of it now as an adult.


“…. What we believed was that a certain benevolent (being) did give us those toys for nothing. And, as I say, I believe it still. I have merely extended the idea. Then I only wondered who put the toys in the stocking; now I wonder who put the stocking by the bed, and the bed in the room, and the room in the house, and the house on the planet, and the great planet in the void. Once I only thanked Santa Claus for a few dolls and crackers, now, I thank him for stars and street faces and wine and the great sea. Once I thought it delightful and astonishing to find a present so big that it only went halfway into the stocking. Now I am delighted and astonished every morning to find a present so big that it takes two stockings to hold it, and then leaves a great deal outside; it is the large and preposterous present of myself, as to the origin of which I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic goodwill.”


May your stocking be filled generously and may you remain grateful for all that comes to you from benevolent invisible sources. Here are a few of my own words about this holiday season;




I stand like an island

in the stream of Christmases

that scroll on the screen of my mind.


I am the child who waits for Santa,

the teen who is too cool for it all,

the new mother who wants everything to be perfect,

the mother who watches the kids leave home,

The one who cries every Christmas eve

as the candles are lit one by one at church,

the one who welcomes new faces around the table,

and who misses the ones who are no longer there

but whose presence is palpable..

Now presents for Grandchildren lie under the small artificial tree.


I stare at the tree with ornaments tokening

this passage of time;

macaroni glued on a cardboard tree painted silver,’

“baby’s first ornament, ornaments made by a dear friend

over many years, photos of kids on Santa’s lap,

an isinglass candleholder from my Grandparent’s tree,

ornaments bought on several vacations.


All hang on the string of lighted memory

under the shiny star that has cast

such good luck on us all.





















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2 Comments


Mary Allan
Mary Allan
Dec 26, 2020

Penny, thank you for the delightful story, as well as your own reflections. Indeed, there is so much Goodness and Light strung together to give me Hope, and fill me with Gratitude. I will enjoy keeping that image while I "string" my lights on my tree each year.

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luanneholder
Dec 14, 2020

What a delightful story, Penny. What an expansive way to conceive of goodness in the universe (and this from a person who didn't not tell her kids the Santa myth). Thanks for sharing this. I also enjoyed your poem, particularly the last stanza.

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