Keep Smiling with Rosie Preston – The spirit of Santa Claus


By Rosie Preston

Many years ago, when my grown children were still young, Santa always paid a visit to our home on Christmas Eve. Now that I’ve gotten older, the last few years of Christmases have dwindled down to include only a few family members. The large family gathering and the feast my family prepared seemed to have disappeared when my daddy passed away in 2008.

Luckily, four-year-old Mack and his new baby sister Breanna (my son’s daughter) soon came into my life. I still didn’t want to celebrate Christmas, but I knew that it was true what my dad said: “Christmas is for the children.” I don’t think Dad understood that it doesn’t have to be that way, that adults can enjoy it, too.

I’d like to share one of my favorite stories written by Emma Bombeck, an author who was well known in the 1970s when my children were young. She wrote about her own family, and each book was hilarious. I’ll never forget how I would be trying not to wake the family when I was screaming with laughter as she shared situations she went through while raising her three children.

As sure as joy and love exists, so does Santa

“This column is directed toward a very special group of children and adults. It is for those who have been told that Santa does not really exist, at least not in the sense that you want him to be. “A hundred or so years ago, someone noticed that people acted differently at Christmas. They smiled for no apparent reason and gave one another presents. Sometimes during the holiday season, people would reach out to strangers and touch their lives. It was such a wonderful feeling that they longed for some way to share it with their small children.

“So, a spirit was created. It had the twinkling eyes of a mother that sparkled with love and danced with anticipation as she baked and wrapped for Christmas. These were put in a large frame modeled after a father who could hoist a big tree in the living room or illuminate the sky with lights on the chimney.

“A white beard from a grandfather was added because it would suggest an ageless quality. Besides, it would be wonderful for children to bury their heads in grandmother’s lap and listen to stories. And from a grandmother came the lap that children have found comfort in for centuries.

“The spirit had to have joy, so the laughter of a million children was added. The reindeer in the forest would carry this mythical presence throughout the world. And Santa’s ‘helpers’ would be made up of the thousands of compassionate people who gave of themselves as the baby Jesus was given. When this was in place, anything was possible. The gift to the children of the world was complete. It was wrapped in a bright red suit.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed Emma’s story. Most young mothers would enjoy reading her books. I’ve found several at thrift stores or on eBay.

If you love to laugh, and especially if you think you’re the only one going through whatever situations that only a child can bring, you will love Emma’s books.

Merry Christmas and Keep Smiling, Rosie

Contact Rosie Preston at

Latest News

WEEKEND PLANS: Pedal boat operation now open in Gadsden
Annual Memorial Day event planned for Monday
City of Gadsden launches new text-based 911 feature to assist callers, first responders
City of Gadsden honors nation's fallen with memorial flag displays
Outstanding students honored at Honors Day in Gadsden

Latest Sports News

Locals make all-state soccer teams
All-Etowah County Schools softball released
All-Etowah County Schools baseball announced
Local players named to all-area baseball team
Local athletes, coaches named to compete in North/South games