Many years ago, I awoke to Santa's sleigh bells jingling right under my window. My heart beat fast as I struggled to listen to the tinkling sounds through the deep pull of sleep. And then as the bells kept jingling, I wanted to jump up out of bed and rush to the window, which I finally did. But by then, the jingle and the Santa were gone.
"Did you hear that?" I asked my husband, who had as well.
The good news is that if it hadn't happened, at least it was a shared hallucination.
You might probably think I'm lying about this, but I was thirty-two when this happened. For hours after the five am Christmas jingle, I was caught in my own confusion and fairytale. Finally, I thought, I know it's all true. There is magic, and somehow, Santa came true. I'd always suspected those who'd told me Santa was fake were lying, and I had them pinned down now. Aha! I thought. The truth at last.
Later, I learned that the husband of a friend of mine had driven over to our house in the early morning to ring the bells. He did this jingling for kids he knew, and that year, I was one of the kids. When he arrived at our house, he thought he was ringing them under my boys' bedroom window, but he got the wrong window. Or maybe it was the right one. I tucked that little piece of surprise and joy away, and I'm still thinking about it, all these years later.
So my favorite Santa is really about the magic and the surprise, the hope for both. My favorite Santa is the giving of something as simple and wonderful as a car ride over to a house to ring bells under someone's window. The shake, the sound, the hope. A perfect gift.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org