By: Alizay Rodriguez and Elizabeth Loera

Christmas: It is one of the most recognizable holidays in the United State and there are a myriad of ways to celebrate it.  

Christmas stirs up thoughts of food like the sweet smell of honey roasted ham when relatives that haven’t been seen in years show up. If mother nature cooperates, snow that numbs your nose but is so delicate and beautiful.

And the more colorful visuals:decorations that glisten when the slightest of light rays hit them causing coruscating and most of all, what Christmas is known best for, is the glamorous presents.

Who brings these things that convey joy to hearts as boys and girls run to the Christmas tree and see presents all wrapped up with with delicacy?  Most would say it’s just parents being nice and rewarding children for good behavior. Little ones would say it’s Santa Claus, who watches and sees who’s naughty or nice.  

When we were little kids we were told of Santa’s sweet, magical story. It is he who brings presents to all the little boys and girls of the world that were good. And coal to those who weren’t. (You know who you are.)

This changed many children’s attitudes making them sweet little youngsters in hopes that they too, on Christmas day, may receive a gift. But as we have grown older we were told the truth of Santa, that he wasn’t real, but is he really?  

In a small (Mr. Olson’s editing note: statistically flawed) survey of Umatilla High School it is clear that the majority – 74 percent – do not believe in Santa Claus. For instance, sophomore Zaquary Funderburk stated, “I do not believe in Santa Claus, because I found out the hard way that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, I caught my parents sneaking out presents under the Christmas tree.”

Funderburk always thought of Santa as “A big old fat dude that gave away presents.”

As of for Mrs. Debbie Tesch the UHS Office Manager, she thought “That he was always about positive things” and “his giving and ability to love” inspired her tremendously.

Although the vast majority deny Santa’s existence, our school still has its believers, even among staff. Mrs. Tesch, who is clearly a believer and always wants to show the holiday spirit.

“I do believe in Santa,” Mrs. Tesch stated with joy. She first learned about Santa Claus at the age of eighteen and claims to have gotten presents from him.

“I used to get clothes usually. When I was younger I always got a doll,” said Mrs. Tesch with confidence.  While most don’t believe in Santa’s existence Mrs. Tesch does and hopes to tell him one day “That I’ll always believe in him, and that I hope everyone does because that’s the true meaning of Santa which is important.”

Some people, like sophomore Anna Lougee don’t believe in Santa because she thinks he already died years ago. She stated, “I believe that there was a Santa at some point, but that he’s not around anymore. I mean no one can live forever so I think he’s dead and I just never really believed in him much, kind of figured it was my parents. My mom actually told me there wasn’t a Santa Claus.”

Advisor Mr. Olson’s note for all the good little girls and boys:

Of course this article tackles an important issue facing our high school students. A lack of imagination and belief will earn some of these students, like Ms. Lougee and Mr. Funderburk, surly a lump of coal. Mr. Santa Claus took time out of a busy production day at the North Pole – his elves were working on 456,794 Paw Patrol Chase dolls – to call my class. He says he is discouraged by the survey that was conducted by this story’s authors but he does predict that both Ms. Rodriguez and Ms. Loera have been good enough to earn at least one carrot with their lump of coal that they will be getting in a few weeks on Christmas morning.