This article belongs to In Search of Laughs! column.

Having spent time with elves and St. Patricks Day leprechauns, its not a humongous leap for me to believe in Santa Claus. In the interest of full disclosure, I freely admit that over the years, I have debated and entertained concepts like: the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the grassy knoll.
OK, I admit I've waited in several pumpkin patches for something that
didnt happen at all, and I have been taken on a Snipe Hunt. Once! What
can I say? In my time, Ive even dallied with an imaginary friend or
three, but which of us hasnt? Except for that crazy Siim guy in

My basic point here is: We have all, at one point or
another already accepted an illusion or two in our lives. Most kids
have been encouraged to believe in what their parents had been taught;
your parents illusions became your illusions. Remember the Sand Man? What about the Boogie Man? As we get older, some of us start worrying about Bigfoot, or the Grim Reaper. As loyal citizens, weve accrued quite a bit of patriotic fervor in Smokey the Bear, Lady Liberty, and Uncle Sam. So far, it doesnt seem like anyone around here is too much worse for the wear.

Sure, drag out your Johnny Rebs, Pecos Bills and Paul Bunyons. Reach way up on the back shelf for Johnny Appleseed. Tell Frosty the Snowman and the Little Engine that COULD that
they are still welcome here. Some illusions bolster us, just when we
need them the most. Havent most of us called on the various sports gods
in times of great stress? The Boston Red Sox will have a Merry
Christmas this year. Think about it: Who couldnt use Cupid on their side or the Goddess of Birth Control? In which of these revered poltergeists, are we nave ones supposed to invest our hopes and dreams?

How can I make a case to those of you that dont believe in Santa Claus?
Sure, convincing you that he actually visits all the kids in the world
in one night is a rough row to hoe! However, that isnt the hardest
part. The hardest part is discerning how to tell children which
illusions NOT TO BELIEVE. Should they use statements such as: Mommy and
Daddy will be here, FOREVER! or Everything will be alright. or Things will work out. Ill leave those decisions up to humans who are made of stronger stuff than I.

So, some big-bellied, red-suited senior citizen who distributes
presents and plays with reindeer doesnt faze me. His beard and clothes
are of no interest to me whatsoever. The same goes for the wife and his
off-season doings. I dont care who he works with, or where he lives.
What has always caught my eye, is how children react to Santa Claus. If
good feelings come from watching kids experience Yuletide joy, we
should notice, revere, and remember those feelings. Maybe its the good
vibrations that keep all of us going until the happiest season rolls
around again. Kids learn there are things each of us has to find out on
our own. Naturally, being told something is not as good as doing
somehing. So, let them work on that Gordian knot at their own pace.
Most teens will learn to be cynical soon enough. We should be in no
hurry for them to get there. As I get older, its those feelings of hope
and joy that I want all kids to have for as long as possible. I may
have become somewhat jaded in my endless travels around this old
planet, so I harken back to my times when the family tried to let me
choose my own beliefs. How wise they all seem now. Thats why theres one
thing I know for absolutely sure: