Just a Thought
By Michelle Sanford Staff Reporter/Columnist
December 17, 2010
Much to my dismay, my nearly eight-year-old daughter has begun to question her belief in Santa Claus. It's been something I've been dreading, but now that she's getting older, I know that fateful talk will come one day. She still believes, but her uncertainty is definitely apparent.
I've already begun to work on what I will say when the time finally comes. After a little research, I can honestly say that yes, I do believe in Santa Claus. I will explain to her that Santa Claus came out of the spirit of St. Nick, who was born in the third century in Turkey. St. Nicholas came from a very wealthy family who could have easily lived off his riches. Instead, he used his wealth to help give back to the sick, to those in need, but especially to children, His entire life was about charitable acts; all of which he tried to do in secret. So to honor his life, we give gifts to family and friends on Christmas Day.
And as I pondered this even further, I realized that I have come across many different types of St. Nick's while writing for The Town Crier. After sorting through many of my stories from the past years and recalling a number of conversations, I pleasantly realized that there are many people in Mendon and Upton who have given very special gifts to others; gifts that cannot be purchased at a store and wrapped in a box.
They are remarkable people like Upton Town Clerk Kelly McElreath, who donated her bone-marrow in an effort to give a complete stranger the gift of life. Or Mendon Board of Selectmen Administrative Assistant Terry Palmer, who, after losing her leg to cancer recently, now aspires to speak to groups of people to give them the gift of hope.
Then there are those who give the gift of their time to help our veterans, to volunteer at food pantries to feed those in need, to work with the local Boy and Girl Scouts, and to serve on the numerous town Boards and Committees to give back to their community.
Then there are those who give the gift of their voice to help fight for their library, their senior center, and their children's schools.
To all these people, you continue to give of yourself to help others. St. Nick would be proud.
Now, one day, when my daughter finally gets up the courage to ask me about her beliefs in that jolly old fellow, I can honestly say, "Yes, Caroline, there really is a Santa Claus."