and entering

Am I...Real?

Santa Claus, with a space background
Ho, ho, can I be real?
Lately, I have been hearing some troubling rumblings from the children. Little Timmy in Topeka told the rest of his second grade class that I am not "real." Isn't that hilarious? Mrs. Claus would be very disappointed to find out that I am not real!
I am definitely real, Timmy. I am merely an aged, rotund man, who lives in secrecy in an inhospitable locale and delivers toys to children...all around the one single night...from a sleigh pulled by flying forest creatures.... Hmm. Now that you mention it, that does seem highly improbable.
Perhaps I was too quick to dismiss young Timmy. Am I...real? I don't even know what it means to be "real"! For what does it to mean for anyone, for anything in this world to be real? Must something physically exist for it to be real? Or is reality but a construct of our minds? Oh no. This is not good. 
And even if I am real, what sort of person am I? What kind of demigod, granted the gift of omniscience, would waste it by perpetuating meaningless consumerism that has so ravaged the capitalist world? And by continuing to support the coal industry amidst the indisputable evidence of climate change? I am a shell of a man, if I even am one...
I could be a brain in a vat. A simulation. How do I know that my senses do not lie? I think, but does that mean that I am? Can I be sure that I think? All I ever hear is the thoughts of children, asking for teddy bears and XBOXes. I don't think I've ever had an original thought. 
Perhaps Timmy is on to something. Perhaps I do not truly exist. Perhaps I exist in only the sense that the parents of children everywhere make me real. It was Camus who said, "Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth." Perhaps am the lie through which parents tell the truth. For perhaps something can become quite true, quite real, even if does not exist. Perhaps you make me real. 
Except if you're Jewish. I suppose Hanukkah's nice, too.
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