“This was my sister!” I (5 years of age) insisted.
“No, it was Santa.” Dad said.
“And why was my sister not here then while Santa was here? And why did she come in just 5 minutes after Santa has left?” My parents are bad liars, so no convincing me at this point.
One year later. Advent time again and the farm is covered in snow. I was in my room facing the front veggie and herb garden and the farm gates. The branches of the pine tree were bent with the burden of snow. It was already dark outside, yet the snow held the light from our windows dispersing it all over the small front garden.
My sister came into the room for a chat, and we were watching out of the window anticipating a white Christmas. Suddenly we saw a figure stomping through the snow, towards the house. A flash and the figure was illuminated by a sparkler in his hand. The light of the sparkler revealed, what my suspicion had told me, it was Santa Claus. The long white beard, red coat with white fur trimmings and black boots were shown in the light of the sparklers, of which he held several by now. He turned towards the house and waved, before he continued to stomp through the snow, planting – what my memory would recollect as hundreds – of sparklers in the snow all over the garden, before he left again waving once more, leaving us marveling at the sparklers until the last had burned down.
I was amazed and excited, my doubt now directed towards my worldly-wise attitude towards life. Eventually reason lost the battle with belief. I so much wanted this magic to be true. I yearned for it to be real. It was much more than believing in Santa Claus. It meant that, if this was real animals could talk at midnight, fairies existed, and the Kuppelchen, and Angels, and life would be so much more worth living. The magic of the sparkling lights, had restored my belief, permitting me to be a child (and not obey reason) for longer.
Dad made sure he would not come home for at least another hour, he must have visited friends who lived down the street. And I will never forget the love and thought that went into this activity, and the wonderful sparklers glittering in the deep snow, turning a regular evening into a magical childhood memory. May he rest in peace.