This I Believe

Sarah - Ogden, Iowa
Entered on December 12, 2006

I Believe in Santa Claus

Okay now, before you have me sent away to a mental institution, let me explain. I believe in Santa Claus. No, I don’t believe in the chimney-hopping fat man with a long white beard in a red suit. I don’t really think one man can travel around the world in a magic sleigh with flying reindeer. Instead, I believe in what Santa Claus stands for; what he means to me and to everyone else in the world.

When I was growing up, my parents always instilled in me the importance of imagination, of believing in something bigger than yourself. And so, I believed in Santa Claus. Every Christmas we would put up the Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. We would decorate the house, get it all ready, and the weekend before my mom would make Christmas cookies. We’d put the cookies out with some milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. And when Christmas came around, Santa had visited! The cookies had been consumed, and the milk had been drunk, and there were presents for everyone.

As I grew older, I realized that believing that one person could go around the world, giving presents to every boy and girl in one night, was kind of ludicrous and can’t really happen. And, it made me sad to realize this, because in understanding that Santa Claus isn’t real, I also had to understand that the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, and all the things you believed in when you were a child cannot possibly be true. And that’s sad.

But what I still believe in, as far as Santa Claus is concerned, is the belief that around Christmastime everyone should be caring, giving, and unselfish. That Christmas season is filled with hope, joy, and charity; of giving and not receiving, of believing that it’s more important to make others happy than to make yourself happy.

Santa Claus has a lot of power. He can make children believe that all they’ll get for Christmas is a lump of coal if they aren’t good little boys and girls. This can definitely make little kids behave. He can make adults act like little kids again. When the Christmas season comes around, people are joyful, and happy. Santa Claus has the kind of power that is rare. There aren’t a lot of people or ideas even, that have that kind of power.

I wish that there was a man who lived in the North Pole with elves and reindeer, and a wife named Mrs. Claus. I wish that the tooth fairy really did exist, and that on Easter there was a giant bunny that went around giving baskets of candy out. You know, it’s hard to grow up, and to accept that there are some things that just simply cannot be. But every year, in December, when Christmas comes around, I can’t help but smile. Christmas brings back so many memories of Santa Claus and my family and all the things we have done together.

And I believe. I believe in Santa Claus. I believe that I am Santa Claus. I believe that the little child that uses his allowance money to buy his mom a present is Santa Claus. I believe that the businessman on the street who gives a dollar to someone who has nothing is Santa Claus. I believe anyone who does something for someone else, just to do it, with no ulterior motives, is Santa Claus. I believe if we could all be Santa Claus, the world would be a better place. And so, Santa Claus may not be a real person, but his message certainly is. Love unselfishly. Give to others before you give to yourself. And above all, rejoice, for life is beautiful, and people are good and kind and deserve to be loved. In that respect, Santa Claus is as real as you or me.