Back when we still believed in flying reindeer, sleighs in the sky and the North Pole, it seemed there was no limit to what we could wish for and receive. We were not rich people by any means, but my parents went to great lengths to give us the things we wanted in the name of Santa. That is, until the year of the go-kart.
It all started with a visit to our relatives’ house in the country. Like a lot of Kansans around my hometown, they weren’t farmers, but they had a few acres, a few critters and, perhaps most impressive, a go-kart with a dirt track behind the house. Our first taste of driving anything gasoline powered that wasn’t a riding lawn mower, my brothers and I were dumbfounded by this set up. How could so much fun exist right outside your sliding glass door?
Fast forward to late November that same year. My middle brother announced that he was going to ask Santa for his very own go-kart. My folks tried to level with him. They said Santa would have trouble getting it down the chimney. My brother was sure he’d find a way. They said Santa might not be able to fit it on his sleigh. My brother argued that Santa never had problems loading his sleigh before. My parents finally called us all to the kitchen table. It was the closest thing to a Brady Bunch style family meeting we’d ever have.
They delivered the news carefully, explaining that technically Santa wasn’t real, but that the spirit of Christmas lived in our hearts. I’d been suspicious for a couple of years, but it was still hard to accept at first. I don’t remember what I was asking for that year, but I suspect I probably got it anyway—with or without “Santa.” And while the go-kart never happened, we all went on to enjoy Christmas. The funny thing is that my folks have property in Kansas now. Plenty of space for a go-kart track. Maybe my brother should give his Christmas wish another shot?