COWBOY POETRY: The Stages of Belief

Cowboy poet Bryce Angell

Grandma said, “Now hurry home ‘cuz Santa’s on his way. Make sure you brush your teeth, and then you better hit the hay.”

We sped on home from Grandma’s house. That night was Christmas Eve. My head was filled with Christmas tales. How could I not believe?

I never doubted Grandma. She had taught us in our youth. If she said there was a Santa, for sure it was the truth.

I heard those Santa stories and believed them as a boy. It’s called stage one of Santa Claus and usually filled with joy.

The second stage of Santa Claus is when you don’t believe. I’d grown a few years older and a little less naïve.

I’d done the calculations and they didn’t add up right. And I’d peeked and seen my mother steal old Santa’s treats that night.

I’d watched her wrap my sister’s gifts and write “From the North Pole.” Did Grandma know about old Claus? I didn’t tell a soul.

I tell my friends, “If you believe, you have to be a fool.” Still, I gladly will accept the gift of one week out of school.

As years went by, I realized what Christmas is about. My children were believers and I hoped they’d not find out.

I heard excited voices when they talked about St. Nick. Now, I’d reached stage three of Santa Claus. It darn sure is a kick!

Well, now I have some grandkids. They believe in Santa too. Their bright eyes shine with innocence. That’s Christmas through and through.

The final stage of Santa is the best, I’d say, because… There’s no more not believing ‘cuz now I’m the Santa Claus.

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