john pavlovitz

santa-claus-hero-2-H“Dad, are you and mom Santa?”

The words surprised even myself when they came flying out of my fourth grade mouth there in the storeroom of my father’s small town shoe store in Central New York. (I had planned to build slowly into a carefully worded inquiry, and this was more like a gas line explosion).

“Yes,” he replied.

There it was. And just like that, a little Christmas magic evaporated, or so I thought.

It wasn’t long after, when I was yet again hanging out in the store with him on a frigid, snowy Saturday morning, when I heard a commotion outside  on the sidewalk, which soon grew louder and eventually spilled into the place.

There, in full regalia was The Man himself, smiling and shaking his belly and loudly ho-ho-ho’ing, surrounded by a small mob of adoring toddlers and beaming parents. Everyone in the room was all freakin’ holly jolly—everyone except for…

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