At age nine, Nancy Nickels still believed in Santa Claus. She was one of three kids in her grade four class who cried when a big bully boy from grade six burst into her classroom just before the bell and blurted out " Hey kids, There is no Santa!" before he rushed off down the hall stupidly laughing, uncaring and ignorant of the disastrous devastation his dastardly deed had done.
Nancy went home weeping that day, December 24, 2007. Christmas had been ruined for her. Even as she opened present after present, she knew in her heart they were just things: toys, books, clothes, video games, jewellery, sportswear. They were only things, things devoid of magic.
Her parents tried being reasonable. That was a mistake, but a well-intentioned one. Her mum gave her the usual line, " Santa is real because he's the spirit of Christmas ... The embodiment of giving and sharing and loving and caring." She had read that somewhere in the Readers' Digest at the dentists office just last month. But it cut no ice on a nine-year old's heart turned cold.
Dad took an even more tactless tact with his, " Well, it was about time you faced reality anyway, dear. You'll be ten soon and have to act your age and not act like a baby anymore. I mean use your head, girl; seven billion people in the world and Santa takes time for each of us. Come on! Do the math. He wouldn't have time. And the cost! Where's he going to get that kind of loot? From the tooth fairy?"
Nancy's teary eyes widened and she was most indignant, " Well, why not. She has all those dimes."
"Oh, sweetie," her dad blundered on, " There is no tooth fairy, you mum and I have been slipping those dimes under your pillow."
"No tooth fairy? " Nancy whispered in horror then the tear duct dam burst and she bawled her eyes out inconsolable for two whole hours.
That's how Christmas a few years ago changed Nancy's life for ever. The Grinches gutted her glorious dreams of magical kingdoms and she 'grew up' and grew cold in a hurry. Five years later, a few weeks before her 15th birthday on a now uncelebrated Christmas eve, Nancy Nickels had turned into a real cutie. Her 5 foot 6 tall body was well proportioned with a near-hourglass figure topping of with a 36 C-cup bust line, slim waist and a bum that was so spankable, it was the first things guys gawked at, not second.
Her face was angelic and her light brown hair reached past her breasts. Her legs went on forever around subtle calf curves and up thighs that brought sighs and ended in Paradise, a smooth shaven Paradise. Not yet fifteen, and she was the envy of all the girls in her school and the object of lust by all the boys and half the teachers ( the male half, that is, those staff members whose stiff members were never at half mast when Nancy was near.)
But she was not a happy little girl. That Christmas five years earlier turned a magic day into an X-missed day, crossing out any joy she had. Nancy now saw around her the glitter turned to greed, the tinsel to tackiness, pixies into profiteers, charm to charlatanism, Santa into a cynical salesman, and Christmas into crass commercialism. For her, Santa was not only unreal, he was dead. And that's how she felt too.
But if you wish upon a star or cast your fate with a coin in the fountain; if you close your eyes, cross your fingers and blow out birthday candles; if you believe in something that is just you but, at the same time, more than you, you just might make magic all your own. On that Christmas eve Nancy Nickels was so sick of being sad, so tired of trying to pretend not to pretend, she refused to accept her cold, hard reality anymore and, in her darkened bedroom, lying beneath her quilt, Nancy Nickels screamed,
"THERE IS TOO A SANTA!"
And, as if my magic, a great gust of wind blew through her bedroom window and whisked the bedding and even her nightgown off her. She lay there, naked and shivering, as a cloud of pixie dust came through the open window and fell over her.
The house was totally quiet to everyone else who remained blissfully sleeping despite the racket Nancy heard. So no one stirred, not even the mice, when a fat old man in a sooty red suit came barging through her window and stood smiling before a nude and nearly numb Nancy Nickels.
"Santa? " she whispered half-hoping, half-doubting.
"None other, little girl!" said the unreal but very solid apparition before her.
Nancy jumped for joy and right out of her bed to give the jolly old man a hug. She kissed his cheek and said she knew all along he was real. Now, she declared, she was going to run out on to the street and knock on everyone's door and tell them the truth ... Her dumb mum and her 'duhh' dad ... and all her girlfriends and especially that boy who broke her heart and her dreams five years ago ... and, and ... just everyone.
"Not so fast, Nancy," said Santa in a low and somehow sad voice. " They didn't lie. I'm not real in the way you think."
"Bullsh ... I mean ... Nonsense, Santa." Nancy blushed at her near indiscretion but went on, " I see you ... I feel you. And ... uhh hmm," Nancy paused puzzled and her nose wrinkled. " And I can smell you too, Santa. " Nancy was feeling rather awkward now because Santa didn't smell of pipe tobacco or Christmas cookie crumbs; he had a kind of musky, bleach like odour to him.
"Yes, little girl, I am real to you! But no one else can see or hear me and time itself has stopped. " Santa was trying to explain the inexplicable to a teenage girl. Little girls accept magic, but they don't understand it until they practice it ... sort of like the piano.
"You and I, Nancy are in your mind, your heart and your soul. Isn't that real enough?"
Nancy pinched herself. It hurt. Santa was still there. That, more than the fine words Santa said convinced her that he was as real as it gets. She took his word for it that time was standing still for them, that she could take her time and enjoy the moment and the magic.
"So, Santa," Nancy said in her cutest little girl voice, " Do you have any toys or games for me?"
"Well," smiled the over-sized elf, " first, we have to go through the Naughty or Nice List Test to see how you qualify and what gifts or punishment you might be in for."
.... There is more of this story ...