I believe in Santa Claus. I really do. Now, I don’t really think that some man in a red suit is going to come down my chimney (or park his sleigh on my 16th floor balcony) and drop off a load of gifts.
But I believe in Santa Claus.
When I go to shopping malls I don’t look for ‘the one and only’ Santa Claus amid a sea of ‘helpers.’ But I do look at the ones I see and find that many really are Santa Claus.
When I took all the kids to get their photo taken with Santa this year I know we had the real Santa. As I plunked Baby Dunk and Little Miss Adorable on his lap, I asked if I could stay in the photo to help cuddle/ physically restrain the panicking Mr. Sensitive. He invited me to share his chair, and then called Hubby into the picture.
When I (stupidly) removed Baby Dunk’s pacifier for a ‘better picture’, and Baby Dunk took one look at Santa and screamed in protest – Santa laughed along with us.
Picture done – miraculously without Baby Dunk red-faced and screaming – Santa spent a few minutes chatting with us. What do you want for Christmas? A shy Mr. Sensitive mumbled that he wanted a race car track for Christmas and snatched a green lollypop from the heaping bins beside us, pulling away from the bright lights and man in red. Little Miss Adorable sat on Santa’s lap, gazing into his eyes and stroking his beard.
“And what do you want for Christmas?” Santa smiled at Little Miss Adorable.
“I want ‘orse!”
Taken aback, Santa turned to me. I explained that Little Miss Adorable is a very tiny and floppy three year old, who loves horses, and we were going to start therapeutic riding soon.
Santa was visibly touched – he waved at the bins of red and green lollipops, “Here, take as many as you want.”
Thank you. Merry Christmas. Have a good holiday.
You don’t need to be Christian to appreciate Christmas (although I know some folks would say it helps). During the month of December in my classroom we talked about different ways of celebrating holidays and different religions. My students celebrated Christmas, Eid, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and Hanukah – sometimes in the same household.
What do these holidays have in common? A celebration of light, coming out of the darkness, a belief in the goodness of people, and the importance of faith. What comes from this? Generosity, giving to others, kindness, and believing that most people are pretty good.
Where does Santa Claus fit in? He embodies all of this, and more.
Santa Claus is Christmas Spirit. I leave it to the more theological folks out there to define this one.
By Christmas Spirit I mean pure innocence, a belief in something magical and faith.
A while ago Mr. Sensitive was saying that Santa Claus wasn’t real – rumours from Kindergarten. I was horrified. Santa Claus is real; you just have to look for him.
Who is Santa Claus?
The elderly lady ringing a bell beside the Salvation Army collection kettle is Santa Claus. So is the woman who stopped to chat to the kids in a busy food court, warmly wishing us all a Merry Christmas. And the folks who bring nearly a hundred donated Christmas hampers from our local church into our community in a convoy of packed vehicles and folks on foot, delivering door to door – they all are Santa Claus too.
In a quest to quash Mr. Sensitive’s mistaken belief that Santa Claus is not real, I was determined to march him up to a Santa Claus after a local Christmas parade. Amid people packing up floats and stripping out of costumes, I dragged Mr. Sensitive through the crowds and right up to Santa.
I announced to Santa, “He doesn’t believe you are real.”
Santa said, “Here, touch my hand, feel my glove, I am real.”
Mr. Sensitive shyly touched Santa’s white glove.
He bent his head down and muttered, “Mommy…” in an anguished tone. I knew I had convinced him. We said Merry Christmas and turned away from Santa.
As we got into our van across the parking lot we saw Santa Claus climb into a red pick-up truck.
I explained that Santa drives a red truck when it’s not Christmas, because he’s delivering supplies to his workshop.
Sometimes you just have to believe.
Merry Christmas to all, wishing everyone a happy holiday.