25 Days of Christmas: There is a Santa Claus with Liz Botts

25 Days of Christmas continues with Liz Botts!


Myhusband and I fully encourage our children’s belief in Santa Claus.

Weencourage the belief because the magic of childhood is so fleeting. This year so far we have celebrated Santa arriving in town, visitedwith Santa, and mailed letters to Santa. And of course there is moreSanta fun to be had. We will make reindeer food and track Santa onNORAD. This year Santa is leaving pages from his “Nice List” forthe kids to discover on Christmas morning. Our kids know thatChristmas isn’t all about Santa and presents, but it is a part ofour holiday traditions.
Ikeep thinking that soon, too soon, one of their cousins will tellthem Santa doesn’t exist, that we are the ones that leave giftsunder the tree. And then what will wetell them?
Oneof my favorite responses to whether or not Santa exists is an opinionpiece printed in 1897 in the New York Sun, commonly known as “Yes,Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.”
Myfavorite part is this: “Not believe in Santa Claus! You might aswell not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men towatch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, buteven if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would thatprove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is noSanta Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neitherchildren nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on thelawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there.Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen andunseeable in the world.”
Readmore of the original editorial here:http://www.newseum.org/yesvirginia/
Ithink I will read them this, and reaffirm that believing is stillokay.

WhenI was writing my Christmas novella, Believe,this editorial echoed through my head. My main character even sharesthe name Virginia.

Eighteen year oldVirginia didn’t ask to be the oldest daughter of the current SantaClaus, nor did she ask to be betrothed to a complete stranger. Whenthe elf elders turn her world upside down by announcing that she mustconvince her fiance, Nick, not only to marry her but also to becomethe next Santa Claus, Virginia has no desire to have any part of thecraziness.
From the beginningVirginia’s interactions with Nick are filled with awkwardness,tension and disbelief. Despite Nick’s love of the holiday he has noopenness to the magical or the mythical. Still, somehow the two forgetheir way toward one another. Meeting a special little girl namedMerry helps Nick and Virginia bond and focus on the true meaning ofthe Christmas season. Virginia quickly grows to love and trust Nick,with the only dark spot being his disbelief in all the things shetells him. Nick for his part must come to grips with meeting his realfather, the King of Winter, and the fact that he does indeed possessmagic.
Will the Nick andVirginia be able to overcome all of the exterior forces seeming tocontrol their lives and fall in love with one another in time to savethe future of Christmas?

You have to marryme.” My fists curl into balls at my sides as flames ofembarrassment shoot through my body, consuming my face in bright red.
All amusement leavesNick’s face. He frowns at me, but doesn’t move. “Look, I don’tknow
what kind of joke this is, but I think it’s time for you toleave.”
No, wait, I…”I take another step forward. None of this is coming out the way Iwant it too. How can I explain this to him? No one has given me anyguidance. I feel my skirt snag on a branch from the fake Christmastree. Before I know what’s happening, I fly forward landingsquarely on Nick’s lap.
He catches me, pullsme calmly down on one knee, and looks directly into my eyes. “Whatis it that you really want?”
The question hangsbetween us. I’m struggling with what to say when there is a knockat the door. A teenage elf girl pokes her head through and gasps.
When she recoversshe says, “You are holding up the line.”
If it is possiblefor my face to get redder, it does. I scramble off of Nick’s lap,where I am barely perched, and flee out the exit door. That wentspectacularly wrong. I’ve humiliated myself. And I have failed.What are the elf elders going to do to me? I shiver, trying to staveoff the fear by thinking of anything else. Unfortunately my thoughtsslide to the deep blue of Nick’s eyes and the joyful laugh thatmade me want to believe in him. Believe in him as Santa. I stopmid-stride on a sidewalk filled with kids, my mini-epiphany of littleconcern to them. What am I going to do now?


Aboutthe Author:
LizBotts was born, raised, and still lives in northern Illinois with herhusband and three small children (two boys and a baby girl). When notwriting, she enjoys reading, sewing, trying new recipes, and hangingwith her kids. She is proud to pass her love of stories on to herchildren, and makes several trips to the library each week. Afterworking with teenagers for several years, she decided to writestories about them instead.

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