Every year in December, Santa Claus goes with the good people from Children With Incurable Diseases Charity to visit sick children and their parents at hospitals around Japan. My good friend Santa tells me that he thinks Children With Incurable Diseases Charity (難病のこども支援全国ネットワーク) is one of the best and most respected and reputable children’s charities in all of Japan.
I asked Santa about the reaction of the children at the hospitals and he just gave a heartfelt laugh and winked at me.
I said, “But, Santa, don’t the parents and the children know that Santa isn’t real?”
Santa then said to me, “Mike. Trust me. Santa is as real as night and day; Santa is as real as love and peace; Santa is as real as you and me. In fact, he continued, “Santa is better than real. Santa gives children and parents dreams and hope.”
I laughed too. Certainly, Santa was kidding me, I thought. After all, Christmas comes only once a year.
Santa patted my hand, leaned over and said, “Mike! Remember when you were a little boy? Remember that when you were small you believed in Santa?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Then, Santa continued, “You grew older, then you stopped believing in Santa, didn’t you?” I shook my head. “Then, one day, you went to school and maybe college and there you met a girl that you fell in love with. Then, God blessed you with a wonderful child.”
“So, you see, as a young boy, you believe in Santa, then you get older and stop believing. Then you get married and have a baby and then… You become Santa Claus for that wonderful child.” Santa said.
I was totally surprised. I had never thought about it before! Santa was right! When our children are born, mom or dad, we all become Santa! Of course! It’s true!
I gave Santa a hug and then I remembered to think of the parents of the children with special needs; they care and give those special beautiful children the love and caring they need all-year round. Santa says he appreciates the Children With Incurable Diseases Charity people so very much because while Santa only visits once a year, these good people and these brave and wonderful parents are taking care of these special kids every minute of every day of the year.
Finally, Santa said to me, “Mike, did you know Mr. & Mrs. Santa have a special needs child too?”
“I didn’t know that, “Santa!” I replied.
He said, “Yes. Many parents have children who are considered normal and they grow up, go to school or get into trouble with drinking or drugs or car accidents… When many parents worry what their children are out doing at night, Mrs. Santa and I don’t. We know exactly where our little angel is every night. She is sleeping in her room.
Some people might call her ‘handicapped’ but we call her ‘perfect.’
Never forget how wonderful you and your children are."
And with that, Santa smiled at me, stood up and gave out a big, “Ho! Ho! Ho!” He then got on his sled and flew into the night. As he disappeared into the night, I felt happy and as I waved my hand, I realized I was holding something.... I turned my hand over and opened it and I saw I held, “Hope.”
God bless you all. May all your dreams come true in the next year!