Stories of Christmas: Adult Division, 1st Place

Several stories were submitted this year for the Brainerd Dispatch’s 31st annual Stories of Christmas contest.

Christmas of ‘56

It was Christmas Eve of 1956, and I was a 20-year-old man who was asked to play Santa for some of the neighbors of my small town. I put on my Santa clothes, beard, boots and hat and had my brother drive me around to the neighbors, with my then-girlfriend riding along.

We had one neighbor with seven children and in the father’s words, “My youngest son is 4 years old and he’s the naughtiest kid you ever saw. I need you to put a real Santa scare in him.”

So we got to the house and as soon as I walked in, the little boy took off running around the kitchen table, scared of me. I pretended to be a mad Santa and took off after him, letting him stay just far ahead enough of me.

After several laps around the table, the little boy stopped and with a defeated voice said, “Santa, I promise I’ll never fart in church again!”

We all had a great laugh about that.


The best part of the story is I proposed to my girlfriend that very night and we’ve now been married 62 years.

Alphonse Jenniges


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