Readers report on what they believe are genuine sightings of the real Santa Claus
PERHAPS THIS IS a ridiculous question, but: Does Santa Claus really exist? Some would say that the question is silly because of course Santa Claus is a myth. Others would say the question is ridiculous because of course he is real! How can we doubt it?
Over the years, many children and adults have reported sightings of the real Santa Claus - not department store Santas or bell-ringing Salvation Army charity collectors, but the real thing. They even claim seeing the sleigh and reindeer in some cases. Are these illusions seen through the eyes of Christmas excitement and expectation? Or are these cases of genuine Christmas magic?
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - 2000
I am 14 now, but this happened back in 2000 in my old house in Bristol, England. I was with my mum and dad and my sister. It was about midnight [on Christmas Eve] and I was the only one awake because I was really excited. I could hear these big footsteps in my living room. I was quite scared, and I could also hear bells tingling above me. So I wanted to see what was going on.
I walked down the stairs very slowly and I could see this big man putting presents around my living room. I wanted to say something, but I was too scared to do it because I thought he would be angry. I ran back upstairs and went back to sleep. I was so convinced I saw the real Santa and told everyone in the morning... but no one believed me. - Alex H.
NEW YORK CITY, NY - 2002, 2004 and 2007
It was Christmas Eve of 2002 in New York City. We invited some friends and relatives over for dinner, sort of like a Christmas Eve celebration. After that, I decided to go to my room to watch some television, but there was nothing good to watch. I then found myself pacing back and forth in the hallway. My house is big, so there was no one with me. Everyone was in the living room watching a movie I wasn't interested in.
About seven minutes into my pacing, I saw a tall, fat figure scurry away about 20 feet away from me. It was crouched down, too. It was even wearing some sort of Santa Claus suit. I didn't believe in Santa, but this just freaked me out. There was a strange man in my house!
I quickly ran to where my parents were and told them all about it. They grinned at me and said jokingly, "Maybe it was Santa Claus." I didn't believe that, so I just sat down in the living room with my family and everybody else.
Then it occurred again on Christmas Eve, 2004. I remember it more vividly than the last one. I was lying on the couch in the living room. My parents were in the kitchen having a conversation about a business blog or something. Suddenly, I saw a huge man, about seven or eight feet tall, crawl underneath the tree and just vanish. Before it disappeared, it looked at me and said, "Shh." Very strange, so I went into the kitchen and sat with my parents.
Smaller happenings occurred the following Christmases. I recall one in 2007, it was daylight this time and I just happened to see another tall figure with a Santa hat trudge by me for two seconds, then it was gone. This really happened. - Claxton Kalmbach
WHITE SANTA - 1969
I had an experience when I was three years old and still young enough to wear footed pajamas. The year was maybe 1969, Christmas Eve. I wanted to see what Santa had brought me, so I quietly walked down the hallway and looked around the corner to our living room. I saw my parents and someone I didn't know around our Christmas tree. The stranger was an old guy with a white beard and hair with a red suit. I quickly went back to my room as fast as I could with footed pajamas and slid into bed.
I told my mom what happened many years later and she insisted that I was dreaming or that it was my dad. That wasn't possible because my dad was sitting in a chair behind the stranger and my mom was standing right next to my dad! I'm African American, and during that time the tenants in our building were all African American, so Santa stood out! - Joanne
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