Do you believe in Santa Claus? Yes, of course you do. Who can honestly say that there is no Santa! So, as we approach Christmas, we still have many reasons to believe.
My uncle used to say that there are four stages of the “Santa Story.” First, you believe in Santa. Then you stop believing in Santa. Then you become Santa. Lastly, you end up looking like Santa. The big guy in a red suit is more than just some made-up token of gift-giving.
When people claim Christmas has become “too commercial,” they might point at Santa as the culprit. Hey, don’t blame him for the push, shove and chaos that surrounds Christmas shopping. We did that all by ourselves. Santa is the guy who gives that one meaningful gift per child, from a sleigh, on a wintry night, with nothing but true and good intentions. We all need a little Santa in our lives.
When children are told that Santa is coming, their parents have created one of the biggest faith-based magical stories of all time. Santa is an all-inclusive sort of guy. He may be regarded as a Christian symbol of Christmas, but religion doesn’t matter to Santa. He gives willingly, freely, kindly and completely to kids throughout the world.
Santa has no lists of religious affiliations. Just believe and he will show up. A common thread in his mass appeal is that he lives to give, to bring joy through some small parcels, a few good toys, and unselfishness that is often lacking in a troubling world. When children throughout the course of time ask, “Is there really a Santa,” the answer has always been universally the same. “Yes, there is a Santa. He lives in the spirit of humanity, in each of us, exemplified by the essence of giving to others.”
No, we shouldn’t blame Santa for making Christmas too commercial. His legacy of thoughtful planning, undying devotion, exemplary work ethic and fondness for cookies should be the gold standard for what giving and sharing is all about.
There will be times in our lives when we are plagued by problems, illness and loss. We grow from wide-eyed children into skeptical teenagers to cynical adults. The way we see the world begins to change as we mature, experiencing many lumps and bumps along the way. We have big worries and bigger problems. The world is a scary place. And then comes along Santa.
At times, the true meaning of the holidays seems to get lost. But take heart, there is a jolly man in a red suit who will show each of us that to give presents, laugh and sing carols, is to spread joy. The rich traditions of the holidays are all intertwined into a tapestry of sharing that extends throughout our lives. Santa sets the example to believe in the power of unbridled enthusiasm and unmatched anticipation. He also looks good in a red suit and loves cookies. A subtle reminder to wear a splash of red and eat lots of cookies during this Santa-mental season.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.