The magic of Christmas, the power of mystery and the joy of family

"How was Santa going to find us?"

My parents tried to put me at ease that Santa would know where we were for Christmas. I was 5 years old and the Persinger family was going to Hawaii for Christmas. I didn’t know much about Hawaii, didn’t much care. I was only focused on one thing.

"How was Santa going to find us?"

The night before our flight was going to leave the entire Persinger family was in my bedroom, which also served as my parents office. My brothers and I were playing Nerf basketball, while my parents, I assume were working out the details of the family vacation.The vacation that I was convinced that was going to confuse Santa, leaving me to not get my Christmas presents.

And that’s when I heard it. Bells. I froze. More bells. Coming from above me. I looked up and started to hear foot steps on our roof. Then more bells. I looked at my parents,

“Do you hear that? What is that?”

I knew what it was in my mind. Santa had come early. Santa wanted to make sure that he got me my Christmas presents. I was sure of it. He didn’t want to risk not finding me in Hawaii. Besides, I saw some pictures of Hawaii and there was no snow, so I wasn’t even sure Santa would go there. Yes. It had to be Santa.


I screamed. Running to the door. My tiny five year old hands fumbling with the door knob, fighting to get it open.

By the time I ran down the hallway to the living room, there under the tree, presents. Presents that had not be there 15 minutes earlier. Wrapped. Bows. Big boxes. Little boxes. My stocking was full. And again I heard bells. Coming from outside. And then I heard,

“Ho! Ho! Ho!”

It was Santa. Santa was here. In my house. I didn’t see him, but I heard him. There are the presents right there to prove he was here.

I ran to the giant sliding glass doors and threw back the drapes. My hands pressed against the cold winter glass, cupping my face, trying to block the light to get a glimpse into the outside darkness. I was hoping for a glimpse of Santa or the reindeer or the sleigh.

That’s the magic of Christmas, the power of mystery and the joy of family. Still to this day my parents and brothers have never told me who or how Santa was there that night. We lived in the country, miles away from the closest neighbor.

It’s still clear in my mind. That bit of magic. The memory of that moment. And now the appreciation for my family to create that for me and still to this day for not stealing the mystery from me, so that I still have the belief of Santa and the magic of Christmas.

I wish you a magical holiday and hope you create something memorable for you and your family.

Darin Persinger