Is There Really A Santa Claus ?

by Steve Dryden on December 17, 2012

in General,Guest Writers,Monthly Post

Sometimes it is better to keep some secrets to yourself, but at other times the truth simply needs to be told. Thus, now that I’m getting more mature and can make rational decisions on my own, I’d like to share this revealing story with other believers or non-believers.

This is a true story about the “real” Santa Claus.

I know Santa, I’ve met Santa, and have worked with the elves in Hawaii! Of course, in Hawaii they’re called Menehunes, the little people. Seriously, I wasn’t even smoking pot (pakalolo) at that time.

In Hawaiian mythology, the Menehune are said to be a people – sometimes described as elves or dwarves in size – who live in the deep forests and hidden valleys of the Hawaiian Islands, far from the eyes of normal humans. Their favorite food is the maiʻa (banana) and fish. The Menehune were said to be superb craftspeople. Ancient Hawaiian stories say that the Menehune built temples, fish ponds (like Alekoko, pictured above), irrigation tunnels, roads, canoes, and houses. They are said to have lived in Hawai’i before settlers arrived from Polynesia many centuries ago.

Walter Melville Kaiapa Pomroy* was the Postmaster at the Lihue Post Office on Kauai in 1980. He hired me in 1978 to work at the maintenance person for the main office in Lihue and to make minor repairs at the smaller offices around the island. In addition to being the postmaster, Walter was a wise Hawaiian kapuna (teacher/elder) who was well aware of the “secrets” of the ancient Hawaiians.

During our time together walking the grounds of the post office, planting rare and indigenous plants, he also planted seeds (ano’ano) of wisdom into my psyche. This is called “talking story” in Hawaiian terms. Since I was the only other person in this office who spoke regular English, we talked a lot. Walter taught me the true meaning of Aloha (universal love) and how to gather mana (cosmic energy) from tikis, stones, and plants.

During the holiday season of 1980, Walter asked me if I’d like to be Santa Claus for the post office. My task was to open and respond to every letter addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole.” I gladly accepted the assignment, but I had to laugh to myself, wondering if Walter knew that Santa Claus was the only thing in life that I really believed in! I took the task seriously.

Now it was my turn to be a kapuna, a teacher of Aloha and truth. And, I was thinking that as “an insider,” I just might get some really cool gifts from Santa and his elves. What I didn’t expect was over 3,000 letters from kids and parents on Kauai. Seriously, how many people are there on this damn island, people who really believe in Santa?


A simple form letter would have been a typical government response, or “Please call this number, push #1, then code 3, and leave a message” for somebody who is on sick leave and doesn’t give a shit. Thus, I created ten basic, fill-in-the-name and subject, semi-form letters, one for kids and one for adults. These were handwritten, but copied. The two X-rated requests were answered by Rudolf the Red A_ _ed Reindeer. The main focus of my letters was: “Ask Santa not what Santa can give to you, but what can YOU give to others.” I suggested that the beauty of Christmas and Santa was in reality “all about giving.” I only received three “Return-to-Santa” letters!

The most important awakening given to me through my friendship with Walter Pomroy was about the unlimited power of Aloha, divine love. He told me many times:

“The secret to life is that the more love you give, the more you get in return.”

In addition, the renowned Native American folk singer, Buffy St. Marie (Kauai resident), told me that a famous Swami became enlightened in the Kalalau Valley on Kauai and sold these wise lyrics to Nate King Cole:

There was a boy, a very strange enchanted boy
They say he’d wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea.
A little shy, and sad of eye; but very wise was he.

And then one day…one magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.

The elves, Menehunes, and Santa helpers I met were all the young people who learned early-on that giving to others and community fostered a magical life of abundance.

Yes, there is really a Santa Claus. It is a state of consciousness, from our deepest feelings within our hearts and souls. When we give freely and unconditionally, We Are All Santa Claus.

Happy Holidays from Steve Dryden.


Season’s Greetings also from Images For Renewal to all its kind readers. May you find hope for the New Year in the jubilant sound of BELLS from St. Trinitatis Cathedral, Leipzig, Germany. ~ Viktoria Vidali, Editor


Steve Dryden is a contributing writer to Images For Renewal. You’ll enjoy his other articles: Through Wine Colored Glasses, With Gold In Their Hills (Part I and Part II), and Mission Valley Has A Beach.

* Walter Melville Kaiapa Pomroy was an acclaimed lei maker and fisherman who contributed to A History of Fishing Practices and Marine Fisheries of the Hawaiian Islands (Oral History Interviews, Vol. 2).

Photo credit: Menehune Fishpond, Bret Robertson; Hawaii flora, Viktoria Vidali; all other graphics courtesy of Wikipedia, Creative Commons.

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Captain Nemo December 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm

This makes Kauai an ideal Christmas place to go with children…!!!
Thanks Steve!

Jean-Loup January 8, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Dear Steve, You are indeed a man of many talents, but maybe being Santa to so many is your best. Great message, miss you here in Baja!

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