April 13, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on Dec.13, 2020)

During one local election year, one candidate asked the voters to elect him mayor because only he believed in Santa Claus.
That of course elicited laughter from the audience, who probably thought he was just being funny.

But kids all over the world, then and now, truly believe that Santa exists, and like the song goes, “Better watch out, better be good, Santa Claus is coming to town.”
You get the message? Only those who believe in Santa know that they need to be good, and since the other candidates laughed, indicating that they didn’t believe in Santa Claus, it means they didn’t believe in being good as well.

But where is Santa or St. Nick or St. Nicholas? In the North Pole, they say, preparing Rudolph and the other reindeers, loading the sleds with gift wrapped toys, and of course, sweaters, given the cold weather.
Many, many years ago, a little girl named Virginia O’ Hanlon wrote a letter which found publication in the New York Sun in 1897.Veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church, the editor of the paper wrote Virginia back, and assured her, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

No Christmas comes by without Santa being part of it, sliding down a chimney to fill socks with lots of candy, or driving a bright red colored Coca-Cola truck, or sitting in a department store asking every kid on his lap what he or she wants for Christmas.
One said all he wanted for Christmas were his two front teeth, while still another regaled his friends that he saw his mommy kissing Santa Claus under the mistletoe the other night.

But times have changed. If Halloween didn’t come, and neither did Thanksgiving, will Santa really come this Christmas?
Well Virginia, I hate to say this, but you need to keep your fingers crossed.
The last thing that Santa wants is to be infected with the virus, said to be a Chinese invention.
Not that the Chinese do not believe in Santa – they do, for business purposes.
Hey, what about our Rodrigo Duterte? Didn’t someone tell you. Duterte thinks he is Santa himself, his dark skin notwithstanding.
Will he however, brighten up our lives this Yuletide, given the glow in his eyes.
Thank you, Mr. President.

I was planning to visit my granddaughter on the 24th, her very first birthday, but oldies like myself are not allowed to travel, or even to step out of their homes.
I am already feeling useless as it is, and all government is doing is rubbing it in.
Did I also say that on the day my grandkid, Maddy, celebrates her first birthday, I will be eight decades old?
I think all my grade school and high school teachers have moved on to the next world except for Jaime Castro, although two of my former college professors are still around, healthy and strong, both in their nineties – Virgie Moreno, my Humanities professor who gave me one of my only two grades of I.S. (the other was Mr. Bonifacio, in Logic) and Bucky Bogayong, my old Economics professor at good old Saint Louis University.
May you both live to over a hundred years.