This is as I remember it…but perhaps Santa did this twice, as the second and third born (twins) probably asked our parents the same question:
As a child certain family members called me ‘precocious’ as if it was a bad thing. I asked and answered a lot of questions, and according to my parents I wouldn’t walk because I could tell them where I wanted to go, and why I wanted to go there. It came as no surprise to them when, during one of our first Christmases in my childhood home, I developed an almost compulsive concern at our lack of a fireplace. We had a chimney. It was attached to a wood cook stove that had a tiny fire box and a latching door. The idea of Santa squeezing himself down that small square chimney only to land in the firebox was terrifying. As I figured it, if Santa came down a chimney into a fireplace, all he had to do was step out and knock the soot off his shoes. If he came down our chimney he’d get suck in the firebox and get cooked.
My parents maintained that Santa’s magic meant that he would be able to simply walk through the locked door. I was a skeptic.
On Christmas morning I awoke to quite a surprise. There were big muddy footprints all the way from the front door to the presents left for me. Daddy was grinning from ear to ear, and Momma simply said, “I doubt Santa will be back today to clean up his mess.” Apparently Daddy pulled off this little bit of mischief, unbeknownst to her, using his fire department boots and a creek mud.
Parents, remember. You have to believe in it so your kids can too.