Friday, December 14, 2018

"Yes, There Is A Santa Claus!" Two True Stories, Part 1

I’m about to tell you two different stories in two parts but it is very important that you understand none of the details of either story have been altered.  

One of these stories I lived, the other is the story of a friend that he lived.  The stories are true in the facts presented but only you, in your mind can figure out what it all means.  As I tell you the stories you will understand.

Part One:

My story begins one night, about a week before Christmas in 1983 in my hometown of Keokuk, Iowa.  My address was 1222 Timea street and my boyhood home is still there today (I just visited it this past summer).  And I must say, something truly magical happened in that house on this night.

I was nine years old on this said night, I remember this because when I turned 10 my family moved to Hannibal, Missouri (boyhood home of Mark Twain).

There are two perspectives to this true story, mine and my parents.  I’ll begin by sharing my perspective.

It was late, and my mother woke me up to tell me someone was there to see me.  I had on my pajamas and we went downstairs to the living room.  As you walk in the room to the right was our beautiful real Christmas tree with multi-colored lights of red, blue, green and yellow.  I love Christmas trees.  And, to the left when you enter is the sofa and chairs along with the usual big tube TV back then.

When I walk in the room, I looked at the tree as I always do but then as I started looking to the left, I saw my father standing in the living room staring and then in the chair was Santa Claus.

I was the age that I started to wonder if Santa was real, you know the usual friends that like to tell you things just to upset you and make you not believe.  But there I was with Santa in my living room late at night to see me, just me.

I sat on his lap and he asked me the usual questions; had I been good this year and what did I want.  As I sat there, I thought of my friends that told me he wasn’t real and what to look for.  I looked for the usual signs that Santa wasn’t real, such as the beard that isn’t real, padding in the belly; all the usual suspect things that give fake Santa’s away.  But I easily noticed his beard was real!  And, I knew right then and there he was the real Santa.

He gave me some candy canes and then stood up.  I remember him being very tall.  My father was a tall man and Santa towered over him.

He told me to go to bed and be good and that he would be back on Christmas Eve with something special for me.

My mom took me back to bed and I remember laying there knowing that Santa Claus had visited me.

Now, I sense your doubts but let me give you my parents perspective that they later told me after I became an adult.

According to them it was late, very late, close to midnight and they heard someone on the front porch and then a knock on the door.  My father was extremely hesitant to open the door and it safe to say my mother was scared as well.  But, in those days it seems it felt just a bit safer than now to open the door and that’s what my father did.

He opened the door and there stood a man looking exactly like Santa Claus.  Of course, my father and mother were immediately suspicious about a man dressed as Santa coming to the door late at night.

But Santa’s first words were something to the fact of “Good Evening, sorry it’s late but does Bryan Rupp live here?”  My father stubbornly said ‘yes.’  Then Santa said I know he’s been a good boy this year and I’m here to see him and find out what he wants for Christmas.

My parents were extremely hesitant, but they somehow felt it seemed harmless and decided to come get me to see him.  They were convinced that someone at my dad’s job knew who I was and wanted to do a nice deed and visit me.  But, at the same time my parents felt that it seemed someone went to a lot of trouble to dress up in a very authentic Santa suite and have a real beard just to visit me late at night.  But they convinced themselves that a friend of theirs had to have set this up.

Having decided it was a harmless situation my mother came and got me and took me down stairs and you know the rest from my perspective of the story.

But here is the twist to the story.  

As Santa was leaving my father tried to pry out of the man who he really was but the man wouldn't budge and claimed to be Santa.  So my father shut the door and started to walk away but he hesitated and thought to open the door and look outside to see where "Santa" went.  My father said that he forgot we had had a recent snowfall so there must be tracks in the snow to find out where the man went.  When my father opened the door again he noticed there were no boot prints in the snow.  To say this was an eerie development to my father and mother is putting it lightly.  Even then they started to believe it might have been the real Santa.  How could a man have been there with black boots and left no boot prints in the snow?

Then the mystery deepened.

When my father returned to work, he asked around if anyone had set up having a man dressed as Santa, with a real beard come to see his son, me.  No one admitted to it, no one at all.  In fact, most of the staff chuckled and really didn’t believe my father’s story.

To this day my parents have no idea who the man was and have no idea how they knew who I was.  No one ever admitted to setting it up or having anything to do with it.

So, the question is . . . did someone who knew my family set it up and never admit to it or was it something more magical?  I believe the latter.

I know it sounds corny and silly, but I believe that night the real Santa Claus visited me.  And, after that night I have always believed in Santa.  Of course, I don’t have all the details whether he is at the North Pole or have reindeer.

But I can tell you this.  That night Santa Claus visited my home and made me a true believer.  He might have been a spirit, a real man, or maybe Saint Nicholas came back from the 3rd century to visit me.  No matter what, I believe in Santa Claus because I’ve seen him in person for real.

So as the editor long ago said, “Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Clause.”  And, I say, “Yes Texoma there is a Santa Clause!”

This is just part one of a two-part series I’m writing about Santa Claus.  If you enjoyed my story, then you will really enjoy the next one.  A friend of mine had his own encounter with Santa and trust me, it will make you a believer.

So, stay tuned for part two of “Yes, There Is A Santa Clause.”

Bryan W. Rupp