Remember when Buddy the Elf spied Santa Claus' sleigh falling through the night sky? Arizona residents probably believed they were in for a similar treat when a "fiery tail" was spotted in the sky Tuesday night. Some reported that it was Santa's sleigh going on a pre-Christmas test run. As soon as the prospect began to gain momentum, U.S. Strategic Command explained that it was debris from a Russian rocket that was reentering Earth's atmosphere. How boring in comparison! But do not be dismayed. The Christmas spirit lives on in other tales that confirm Santa is indeed real. As Buddy the Elf once said, "Santa! I know him!" And hopefully we will be able to say the same as a snowy Christmas morning falls upon us.
Sightings of old Kris Kringle have been categorized online as "paranormal" — think the Loch Ness monster, ghosts, Bigfoot, and last but not least, chupacabras (duh). Initially, that may make Santa-spotting seem more akin to something from Halloween time ... until we recall Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol. I don't know about you, but the ghost of Scrooge's partner Marley is pretty frightening. Luckily for us, verified sightings of Santa don't suggest that he'll chain your ankles or haunt your dreams like Marley. Instead, he delivers the good ol' spirit of Christmas, and makes us feel like we're children who believe without a doubt again.
1) Floating Stockings
About.com's paranormal expert Stephen Wagner has created a log of Santa Claus sightings over the years. He lists the "Green Bay Sighting" as one of the best.
I saw St. Nick completely by accident. I was walking to the bathroom, forgetting it was the night. He came and the stockings were floating in the middle of the hall. They fell to the ground, and that's all I remember because I fell asleep in the hall. And to all you doubters: Santa does exist, not just in your heart, but physically ... I got a flat screen TV, computer, desk and a ton of other toys my parents could not have afforded -- no one in my family could. I will always believe.
2) If A 19-Year-Old Believes, We Can Too
Wagner compiled other stories in his list of Santa sightings, including a 19-year-old boy's tale. Surely, I can't be the only 23 year old believer.
I peered over the railing in the loft and happened to see what I believe was Santa Claus. I quickly moved into my parents' room, where both of them were sound asleep. This is a 19 year old telling this story and saying I still believe.
3) Dumpster Santa
Wagner's collection continues to get better and better! This story is recounted by a 37-year-old, and is perhaps the most plausible tale yet.
Being 37 at the time, I was a little old to believe in Santa. I had the faith he existed and felt in my heart he was real, but not physically real until ... I was in our parking lot dumping trash in the dumpster. Walking on the sidewalk next to me was a chubby old man with long, snow white hair and a long white beard, round glasses, wearing a green flannel shirt, blue jeans, and red suspenders.
He said, "Hello, Richard" as he passed. I said hi and he kept walking. It wasn't until a few seconds later I realized I didn't know him yet he knew my birth name. We did not wear name tags or anything. He wasn't a customer, but he knew. I watched him as he continued down the street, and as he came to the intersection he didn't stop to wait for the light to change. It just turned green and he walked out of sight. Weird? Yes, but it changed my mood knowing I wasn't nuts.
4) iSpot Santa
This website, which tracks Santa Claus, is a little more on the silly side. But it's fun nonetheless. Kids can skim through Father Christmas sightings by region and keep an eye on the man's progress. The video of Santa playing peek-a-boo atop Honolulu's volcanoes is amazing.
5) Fashion Santa
Maybe Santa exists in the everyday world .... as an everyday man who is both silver-haired and attractive. Any grown adult can believe in that.
6) Santa Claus Lives On Long Island
Yes, a man from Long Island, New York legally changed his name to Santa Claus and made all of our dreams come true.
7) Scientific Proof That Santa Can Fit Through Your Chimney
Can Santa Claus fit into your chimney? The Guardian's Henry Gee came to a plausible conclusion: He can. You see, Father Christmas isn't a man; he's a macroscopic quantum object. Naturally.
Images: Giphy (6)