To keep the magic of the season alive, many parents make up stories about Santa encounters. These tales range from elf sightings to full-blown meetings with Saint Nicolas himself.
40-year-old Phoenix resident Cody Wagner still kind of believes his mother’s story.
“Mom insisted she heard a jingling outside on Christmas Eve,” Wagner said. “She was probably six or seven. She flew up as the tinkling got louder.” Wagner’s eyes lit up as he continued, “She said it was definitely jingle bells! So she scooted to her bedroom window and peeked out. She says she actually saw reindeer flying by!”
While he went on to say, “Naturally, she made it up,” Wagner proceed to shrug and add, “On the other hand, she was never one to fib.”
Cody’s siblings disagree.
“Mom used to run outside when the phone rang,” Wagner’s sister, Mindy, said. “She’d announce, ‘Tell them I’m not home!'” Mindy shook her head. “We’d accuse her of lying, but she’d always say, ‘Well, technically I’m not in the house so I’m not home.'” After rolling her eyes, Mindy added, “Besides, Cody believed in Santa until he was, like, fifteen. Or maybe he still does! I mean, that’s not normal, right?”
Although Cody insisted over and over the story is make believe, Mindy pointed out he deliberately situates his bed by the window. “His bedroom looks awful!” she said. “The window’s right in the middle of the wall and the headboard’s supposed to be against it. Cody has his bed moved down where his pillow practically rests against the window. He doesn’t want to miss any Santa sightings.” Mindy pointed outside. “It’s July, for freak’s sake!”
Cody stated the reason for his bed’s positioning is he likes the sun’s rays to wake him in the morning. “And…I don’t know…Sometimes I hear things.” When asked to clarify, Cody looked around before muttering, “Just noises. Like the other night, I thought I heard some kind of something. Maybe music or something or…I don’t know…bells. Just out of curiosity, I sat up, threw open my sash – I mean my blinds – and peeked out.” Cody shifted in his seat. “Turns out it was the neighbor’s lawnmower.”
When asked if he still believed in Santa, Cody shook his head. “No way! I mean, not the Santa you hear or read about. You know, with the North Pole and the toys and the reindeer. Santa is about a spirit or feeling…although Mom did swear she saw icicles on the reindeer’s hooves that night, so who knows about the North Pole.”
Following the interview, Cody stared at an Elf on the Shelf for two hours. “I know it’s not gonna move,” he said. “Well, I mean not in the way we think it will. Or whatever.”