Dear Dr. Christmas:
Do you really believe in Santa Claus? I want to, but so much of the evidence in support of his existence is either anecdotal or weak, and besides, he never brings me any of the presents that I ask for. I don’t want to become a Santa atheist! Please help. – Sam
I can put your mind at ease about this question that torments so many people at this time of the year. Yes, Sam, there is a Santa Claus, and I know this because when he came down the chimney last year and handed me a pair of socks and a tie instead of the pony I have so frequently requested, I justifiably lost my temper and smacked him over the head with a pewter candle stick. I then forced one of his elfish minions to paint the picture that accompanies this posting – a picture that, appropriately, I have hung over my fireplace.
I know that many soft-hearted people will be shocked by the idea that someone would attack Santa Claus, but let’s all be honest about this matter. How many of you have repeatedly asked Santa for something you really deserved, only to be disappointed on Christmas morning? I rest my case. Besides, most of the twits who express outrage at my assault probably already have a pony.
I hope that this reply helps to strengthen your belief in Santa Claus, Sam, though I must qualify my remarks in one way. If Santa does not bring me a pony this year, I will probably have to change my answer to your question, because my reaction to yet another Christmas disappointment is going to be much harsher, and anyone who doubts the seriousness of that threat should consider this fact: While there still is a Santa Claus, there is no longer an Easter Bunny. Last Easter, the insolent brute handed me a chocolate pony and laughed. I won’t dwell on the details of my response, but here’s a clue: rabbit stew.