Saturday, December 17, 2011

25 Days of Christmas: There is a Santa Claus with Liz Botts

25 Days of Christmas continues with Liz Botts!


My husband and I fully encourage our children’s belief in Santa Claus.

We encourage the belief because the magic of childhood is so fleeting. This year so far we have celebrated Santa arriving in town, visited with Santa, and mailed letters to Santa. And of course there is more Santa fun to be had. We will make reindeer food and track Santa on NORAD. This year Santa is leaving pages from his “Nice List” for the kids to discover on Christmas morning. Our kids know that Christmas isn’t all about Santa and presents, but it is a part of our holiday traditions.
I keep thinking that soon, too soon, one of their cousins will tell them Santa doesn’t exist, that we are the ones that leave gifts under the tree. And then what will we tell them?
One of my favorite responses to whether or not Santa exists is an opinion piece printed in 1897 in the New York Sun, commonly known as “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.”
My favorite part is this: “Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.”
Read more of the original editorial here:
I think I will read them this, and reaffirm that believing is still okay.

When I was writing my Christmas novella, Believe, this editorial echoed through my head. My main character even shares the name Virginia.

Eighteen year old Virginia didn't ask to be the oldest daughter of the current Santa Claus, nor did she ask to be betrothed to a complete stranger. When the elf elders turn her world upside down by announcing that she must convince her fiance, Nick, not only to marry her but also to become the next Santa Claus, Virginia has no desire to have any part of the craziness.
From the beginning Virginia's interactions with Nick are filled with awkwardness, tension and disbelief. Despite Nick's love of the holiday he has no openness to the magical or the mythical. Still, somehow the two forge their way toward one another. Meeting a special little girl named Merry helps Nick and Virginia bond and focus on the true meaning of the Christmas season. Virginia quickly grows to love and trust Nick, with the only dark spot being his disbelief in all the things she tells him. Nick for his part must come to grips with meeting his real father, the King of Winter, and the fact that he does indeed possess magic.
Will the Nick and Virginia be able to overcome all of the exterior forces seeming to control their lives and fall in love with one another in time to save the future of Christmas?

You have to marry me.” My fists curl into balls at my sides as flames of embarrassment shoot through my body, consuming my face in bright red.
All amusement leaves Nick’s face. He frowns at me, but doesn’t move. “Look, I don’t know
what kind of joke this is, but I think it’s time for you to leave.”
No, wait, I…” I take another step forward. None of this is coming out the way I want it too. How can I explain this to him? No one has given me any guidance. I feel my skirt snag on a branch from the fake Christmas tree. Before I know what’s happening, I fly forward landing squarely on Nick’s lap.
He catches me, pulls me calmly down on one knee, and looks directly into my eyes. “What is it that you really want?”
The question hangs between us. I’m struggling with what to say when there is a knock at the door. A teenage elf girl pokes her head through and gasps.
When she recovers she says, “You are holding up the line.”
If it is possible for my face to get redder, it does. I scramble off of Nick’s lap, where I am barely perched, and flee out the exit door. That went spectacularly wrong. I’ve humiliated myself. And I have failed. What are the elf elders going to do to me? I shiver, trying to stave off the fear by thinking of anything else. Unfortunately my thoughts slide to the deep blue of Nick’s eyes and the joyful laugh that made me want to believe in him. Believe in him as Santa. I stop mid-stride on a sidewalk filled with kids, my mini-epiphany of little concern to them. What am I going to do now?

Buy links:

About the Author:
Liz Botts was born, raised, and still lives in northern Illinois with her husband and three small children (two boys and a baby girl). When not writing, she enjoys reading, sewing, trying new recipes, and hanging with her kids. She is proud to pass her love of stories on to her children, and makes several trips to the library each week. After working with teenagers for several years, she decided to write stories about them instead.

1 comment:

  1. This really sounds like a fun story! Thanks for a taste of it.