"Yes. I know him a little."
"I'm kind of afraid of him."
"Well, you don't need to be. He's o. k. Besides, did you ever think that Santa might be a little afraid of you?"
It took a second or two but her face screwed up and she began to cry. I felt terrible. I said, "He might be afraid that you wouldn't like him." That got her thinking and the tears went away as quickly as they'd started. Her parents understood and I think she might have left a little less afraid of Santa Claus. I hope so.
In any case, as cynical as I am about the commercialization of this season and the enforced conviviality that gives us some license for viciousness for the other 46 weeks of the year I do know Santa Claus a little and wish you all "a merry little Christmas".