The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is Santa Real?

I looked up at the wall and watched the clock quietly ticking each moment away.  Just a few more days and school would be out for Christmas, my favorite time of year.  I must have been all of 9 years old at the time. 

During recess, a group of kids were sitting on the floor playing jacks and chatting about what they were going to do during break. Some were going on vacations, others were going skiing with their families.  I piped in saying, "I can't wait until I see what Santa brings me!"  With that they all began laughing, teasing me relentlessly for being such a baby.  

"There is no such thing as Santa stupid!  Your parents buy you all that stuff!" I stood there  - mortified and heart broken.  Not sure if this was true or just some cruel joke, I went home and posed the question to my mother. Ah yes, that dreaded question every parent must face sooner or later. How one answers it makes all the difference in the world.

My mother sat me down and asked me a few questions. "Was Nana real?"  That seemed like a silly question.  Of course my grandmother was real. She used to live right next door to us, at least until she died.   "Do you still believe in her?" Certainly! I knew that she was somewhere, still watching over me. "Do you believe in Love?" Obviously! I was surrounded with it with plenty left over to go around.  "Do you believe in the magic of Christmas?" There was no question about that. All you had to do was look around. Even people who tended to be grouchy seemed to be jolly during the holidays. There was music, lights, colors, decorations, parties, family get togethers, traditions, and a festive feeling in the air. How could anyone not feel the magic?" Do you believe in giving and doing for others?" Nothing made me happier than making gifts for my family in school and lovingly wrapping them or helping my mother bake cookies and taking them to our cousin and her friends at the nursing home. I'd always ask my mother for some coins to toss in the bucket for the donations outside stores or pick out a gift to go under the tree at church for those who would otherwise go without. It made people smile and THAT was a gift in itself. With that she looked at me and said, "Then he is real."

She went onto explain how he existed long, long ago, and would give gifts to those in need. Although he grew old and died, his legend of kindness lived on. Throughout time people adopted his traditions and every country found a way to make them their own. That in itself, the spreading of this one man's acts throughout the world, bringing everyone together to celebrate was magic in itself.  She then told me that, like my grandmother, his spirit lives on and is a part of why Christmas is so special. His love becomes a part of everyone, bringing the joy and desire to give and share. This was something I could accept and treasured. Although no longer in body, he was still alive in the most important place - my heartSanta was and always will be the essence, the magic, the "spirit of Christmas".

I passed this story down to my children when they approached me with that question. For me though, it was not so dreadful, knowing I held the key to keeping the magic alive.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful story!
    Thank you.

    Just yesterday my nephew (7 years old) told his mother; my sister that "Santa is just a man dressed up to look like Santa. You can't fool me, mother!"

    I am 32 and I still believe in Santa. Or at least the Spirit Of Santa. How can anyone doubt?