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december 24, 2015


Signs of Santa

As you’ve perhaps read elsewhere in the paper this week, the Inquirer was once again in contact with Vee, an elf in Santa Claus’s Office of Public and Media Relations, concerning the magical mailboxes Scarsdale children use to send their letters and wish lists to the North Pole every year for the last 30 and hopefully, in the Inquirer’s opinion, for as long as there is a Scarsdale.

Among the letters collected in the magic mailboxes this year was one from a village boy who didn’t want a hoverboard or a Playstation 4 or an iPad or even some Star Wars Legos. He told Santa what he wanted most was to know Mr. Claus is real because, he said, it’s been difficult splitting time between his mother’s house and his father’s and it would be “awesome” to know someone such as Santa was actually out there.

The boy told Santa he just wanted to see a sign.

But of course the Inquirer knows the boy has already met Santa, and will meet him again, many times. Lest he doubt that, perhaps the rest of this space can serve as a reminder of it and, as such, will be addressed directly to him.

Santa Claus exists in your parents, young man, who love you more than they’ll ever be able to adequately express. Love can be a funny thing between grown-ups, but it is unshakable and everlasting when it exists between a mother or father and a son or a daughter. The Inquirer supposes there may have been times, and there likely will be again, in which your parents forget to remind you nothing that ever happens between them will change how they feel about you. It may not seem like it now, but some of the bad feelings you’ve felt about living with your mother sometimes and your father others mean, more than anything else, neither of them would ever want to be without you.

They love you that much, and there’s some Santa Claus in that.

Santa Claus also exists in your teachers, the ones you’ve had and the ones you’ll have in the future. The Inquirer knows this because there’s an entire page, sometimes two, dedicated to Scarsdale’s schools in the paper each week. And at the heart of all the talk and writing about dollar figures, new classes and busing plans is just one thing that really matters, the love the teachers, principals and coaches — and parents — must have somewhere in their hearts to be willing to dedicate their lives to making sure children like you are the best you can be.

It’s one of the most noble forms of giving, really, and there’s some Santa Claus in that.

Sometimes it’s hard to see past what’s going on in our lives to the larger world beyond. And sometimes, such as in these times, what we find there is scarier than, or makes us feel worse than we do about what’s happening directly to us. But there’s some Santa Claus to be found there, too.

The Inquirer would never dream of passing this next bit of advice off as its own. It was the great Fred Rogers who said, in the times when terrible tragedy strikes somewhere in the world, children should always look for the helpers. There will always be people helping, people running toward bad things instead of away.

The Inquirer thinks that’s good advice for anyone, but particularly for a young man who may feel the world is a fluid, unstable place. There will always be helpers here in Scarsdale and everywhere you ever go, whether they wear a blue uniform, carry a fireman’s ax or are just there to help you up when you fall or help you find your way when you get a bit lost.

There will always be helpers, and there’s a bit of Santa Claus — and maybe a bit of Rudolph — in all of them.

And so it is you may have guessed by now Santa Claus is everywhere this time of year. Even if you don’t manage to run into him, even if, in the course of making his worldwide rounds, you and he never actually lay eyes on each other, it’s important to remember Santa is able to do what he does through a special kind of magic that reminds all of us what we’re capable of, and what the best versions of ourselves can always be if we take the time to remember the last few weeks of December the rest of the year.

You’ve met Santa Claus before, young man, and you will again. Many times.

Consider this a sign.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of The Scarsdale Inquirer. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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