When kids reach a certain age, they all begin to wonder about Santa Claus. Is he real? In a short story called, “My First Christmas Party,” author Carol Laylock tells a story of how one grandma answered this question.

In Laylock’s story, a little child who had heard that Santa Claus wasn’t real went home and asked his grandma the truth. “Ridiculous!” the grandma said, “Don’t believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let’s go.”

They put on their coats and went to the general store. Grandma handed the child a $10 bill and said to go into the store and buy a gift for someone who needed it. Once in the store, the child wasn’t sure what to do until he remembered Bobby Decker, a kid in his class with bad breath and messy hair.

The story says, “Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough; he didn’t have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.”

When the child reached the counter, he handed his $10 bill to the clerk with the coat. She asked if the coat was a gift, and he said it was and explained about Bobby. The clerk smiled, rang up the transaction, put the coat in the bag and wished him a merry Christmas.

That night, Grandma explained that he was now one of Santa’s official helpers. They wrapped the coat for Bobby and put a tag on it from Santa. Then they drove to his house, put it on the doorstep, rang the bell and ran.

Laylock concludes, “That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were — ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.”

If you’re looking for a good way to handle the question, “Is Santa real?” read the whole story here.