31 Things in December: When did you find out ‘The Truth’?

This is the third blog post in a month-long initiative called “31 Things in December.” Check out the list and start blogging!

Yes, Bobby, there is a Santa Claus.

I have to differ with the topic of this post.

The truth is, Santa Claus exists. He exists in each of us — in the love and joy we bring to others this month and throughout the year.

Children know Santa as the jolly, red-suited man bearing gifts. We see him at malls, but never do we find him in our home on Christmas Eve, even though we know he was there. Whether it’s a new doll, video game, a Red Ryder BB gun or gift cards, Santa delights us all, even for one day a year.

As the years pass and gifts under the tree no longer come from a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer, many seem to stop believing. I’ve never understood why people stop believing.

Gifts from Santa only get better as we grow. From toys we lose interest in weeks after they’ve been unwrapped to friendships and blessings at unexpected times of our life.

This post was going to follow a different path, but in the midst of writing it, my good friend Jim informed me of a post by another good friend to me and to many, many people — Ginny Montanez.

Ginny is a Santa. Yes, I realize she’s not 400 years old with a beard that’s three-feet long, and I’ve never heard a jolly “Ho! Ho! Ho!” out of her, but look at all of the good she’s done for so many others.

There’s Jamie and Ali and the help Ginny brought to the orphans in Haiti earlier this year. There’s Christmas Crazy with her and BurghBaby. There’s all of the charities she’s blogged about supporting.

And then there’s Make Room for Kids. Ginny spearheaded an effort to provide in-game entertainment (video games, movies, computers, etc) to patients at Children’s Hospital. Her readers and friends helped her raise something like $15,000 last year around this time.

Then there’s a simple e-mail I sent Ginny a few days ago. I asked her and a few other friends to help promote a friend’s art show. The photographer at the newspaper I work at opens her first art show Friday. Proceeds from the show benefit Ginny’s Make Room for Kids initiative.

I thought Ginny would tweet it a few times, Facebook it and mention it in a blog. And I would have been excited just for that!

But Ginny surprised me when she said she was coming to the show opening. Ginny lives about a billion miles (in Pittsburgh terms) from where the show is. On top of that, her car was damaged in a crash last week or so on the Parkway East.

… and then there was the fire. Las Velas, the Mexican restaurant at Market Square, caught fire Wednesday morning, closing the place and forcing some very hard working staff members out of work right before the holidays.

The LAST thing on Ginny’s mind should be an art show a billion Pittsburgh miles from her home in another county and another area code. Instead, she assured me she was coming.

In her post about the fire, she mentions Kristina’s event and encourages others to attend.

It’s people like Ginny that allow me to keep believing in Santa Claus.

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