Santa Lives

Bill Barrell says…. Santa Lives!

 …. Back in 1986, right around Christmas time in Jersey City, NJ, I heard that a Catholic priest had told a bunch of kindergarten kids that Santa did not live. He just did not exist.

Well, it caused a storm. Kids were cyring, mothers and fathers were ranting. The newspapers were having a great time with it.

I am not a religious man and never have been, but I did enjoy the fantasy of Father Christmas when I was a kid. It was always a warm pleasurable time even during the Depression, even during World War Two.

What we received would fit into a stocking, it wasn’t much, but it was always a surprise. Those nights we kids would go off to sleep listening for Santa’s reindeer landing on the roof. Mom and Dad would put out a glass of milk and some cookies for Santa. In the morning, the glass would be empty and crumbs of the cookies were left on the plate. (Dad was crafty enough to put a little cotton wool stuck to the glass.) I believed it all. What fun.

Years later, after reading about this lousy priest destroying children’s dreams, I went to the studio and painted “Santa Lives” for my daughter, who still believed.

Happy Christmas to all!