Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Physics of Flying Reindeer

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph." Shirley Temple

My dad decided, prior to having kids, that he would not have a child who believed in Santa. 

not exactly sure where the anti-Santa argument came from but probably a combination of focus returned to Christ and an assumption that believe in a fictional, chimney maneuvering gentleman correlated to a lack of critical thought. 

Fair enough.

Being the oldest, we had thoughtful discussions on why Santa, elves and flying reindeer were, at best, improbable and in all likelihood a fabrication.  

However, like most new parents, he had underestimated cultural influences on the pre-k demographic and evidently, I had held out hope for Santa rather than align with complete Santa disbelief. 

Per my mom, during the first mall trip of the holiday season, I cornered the unlucky Santa and asked how, exactly, did providing gifts on a global basis work? 

Supplied with answers of any kind . . . 

magic reindeer food, an enormous elf workforce, presidential order for military access, ability to bend the time-space continuum . . . 

I happily judged Santa to be authentic.  

My dad asked how I could be sure and I jumped to irrefutable logic . . .  

"Well look! He is sitting right there!" My dad accepted the inevitability of Santa belief during a certain age range. 

There is something wonderful about kids during that time between terror over any novelty and developing some world weary skepticism. 

Roger Larck and Sophie Jo Riley

When my girls were little, we ran into a vacationing gentleman with the appearance of an Americanized Saint Nicholas incognito . . . 

white beard, rotund, jolly and in a Hawaiian shirt. 

Spotting Santa Claus, mid summer and buying groceries, completely perplexed them. After giggles and whispers, they offered a smile and wave. 

Santa returned the smile and wave and asked if they had been good. Solemn nods in affirmation. 

Father Christmas looked over at me and advised, “Let them wonder about it.”

Roger Larck, the gentleman in the video, was interviewed and said he occasionally sees a parent having some difficulty. “A little well placed Ho Ho Ho helps.”

From a mom's point of view, a mid year appearance of Santa is a great idea . . . 

and for all the older, bearded gentleman who maintain yearly cheer and a little reminder for good behavior . . . 

I hope you end up with something fantastic under your tree! 



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