The Edge of the Wood

by John Messeder, Nemophilist & Ecological Storyteller

The truth about Santa Claus

The Christmas tree sparkles in the living room bay window

Ah, ‘tis the season.

A friend was informed by her husband that Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to put up the tree.
Another chimed in that her tree is up already.

On Thanksgiving Day, my spouse already was counting the minutes until our favorite Christmas tree sellers open. The local Forty-and-Eight organization sells the trees to support scholarships for nurses in training.

If it wasn’t for that club, our tree might already up, casting its brightly seasonal sparkle through.

I was 11 or 12 when I learned the truth about Santa Claus.

We went to Midnight Mass, came home, and while we kids were counting sugar plums, Santa came and set up the tree and surrounded it with gaily wrapped gifts.

Sometime around 5 a.m., Dad would be awakened by some disturbance outdoors and get out into the snow just in time to see the Big Red Guy flying off. We kids were roused by Dad’s hollering at the Big Guy to stop, and getting nothing but a jolly “Ho Ho Ho!” in response.

We lived in a cottage in the Maine woods, not quite completely finished inside. My brother and I had an upstairs bedroom and my bed was closest the top of the stairs.

One Christmas morning, sometime between Midnight Mass and Dad hearing Santa Claus, I woke and, heard some commotion downstairs. Slowly, I turned around in my bed. I look from the foot of the bed frame, through the studs that one day would become a wall separating the stairs from our bedroom.

I had a perfect view of the corner of the downstairs living room — the corner that held the Christmas tree.

And the truth about Santa Claus.

If you like what you’ve seen here, please …


  1. I wonder if that was better than just figuring it out from the lame answers I got from relatives. Sometimes, though, I have to admit that I like to imagine that there really is a Santa, and try to keep the rational part of my mind argue the physics of it, or the cynical reporter side of me wonder how far he’d get in these parts before somebody bagged one of his deer.

    Nice read, John. As usual, you put me there.

    • John

      December 21, 2010 at 12:39

      It would be a shame to have the reindeer start falling out of the sky. That’s a heavy sleigh. On the other hand, I’ve got it on good authority that Santa’s got a special protection system after which Reagan’s Star Wars Defense was patterned.

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