The Magic Arrival A story of the visit of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. By Craig Hosterman
There lives within each of us a child who wants to believe in old man Claus.
The story of Nicholas is best told when the year's shadow stretches long across the land and winter's blanket covers earth's bed in the unmarked innocence of morning. It is then, as icy fingers gently grasp December's end and summer lies dormant beneath the snow, that he mysteriously arrives -- without disturbing the soft powder in the way that mankind does.
From the land of eternal white he's gathered back the energy spent in last year's passing, and now slips into the night to fulfill the promise that keeps the world forever young.
The team pulls his gilded sleigh on polished runners, tracing an invisible path across the mind, while gloved fingers flick long strands of oiled leather messages to the Icelandic eight that drop him softly at each chimney edge.
Invisibly he drops in - unannounced and expected, but too late to be greeted. He shakes himself free of the dark warm dust, to show his belted girth clothed in the richness of print's first color. As he smiles through a mass of winter white, the lines of his face are crinkled with laughter and etched with stories that have been traced from the imagination of our memories - past to present.
He turns toward the tree and the lights dance across his face, flicker past his hunched back and cast shadows on the heavy weight of the dreams he carries. Quickly he spills forth his bag full of packages wrapped in nature's hues and splashed with ribbons of delight.
There's surprise, laughter and remembrance. The brightness of celebration. The warmth of acquaintance. All dancing to the tune of year's renewal, as he spreads them under the tree.
When finished he leaves but telltale signs - windswept footprints, the lingering scent of pipe and a faint echo of laughter whispering in the breeze. For it is his fate never to have existed, and forever to be remembered. Imbedded in literature's landscape, his immortality can only move quietly frm one generation to the next.
He takes his leave before sun peeks over the edge of morning and night skips into tomorrow - In that quiet moment when the whole world is still. Before children's eyes open with the excitement of discovery, and the reality of truth spoils the pleasant fiction of belief. His time is but a brief memory of waking. The moment between then and now, when the mind's myst blurs the difference between dream and reality, imagination and truth.
Though his visit be brief, it's continually recounted by the young in heart for the young in age, and revitalized by the weary for the unsuspecting. You see, it's easy to believe in old man Santa. Part of him is our father, and our grandfather, and even his father before him.
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