This I Believe

Sydney - Weare, New Hampshire
Entered on June 15, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in Santa Claus.

I am well aware that he is a make-believe character of fiction. I know that parents tell their children that this jolly old fellow slips down their chimney on Christmas Eve, bringing toys to all the good little girls and boys. I know that there are not elves constructing child playthings as I write. I know that if I put carrots out on my porch, Rudolph will not come and snack on them as I sleep. I know all of these things, but I don’t want to believe them.

I discovered Santa’s true identity during an elementary school spring break. I was bored, and being the nosey child that I was, snuck into my parents’ room and decided to look around in their closet. I found old clothes and gazillions of shoes, but nothing that truly sparked my interest. So I scampered from the closet to my mother’s dresser, rooting through her drawers, being extremely quiet for fear of being caught. I was getting restless when all I found were garments of clothing, until I came across a space that held various objects. There were a number of things: matches, batteries, coins, pens, chap sticks. As I examined the contents of the drawer, I came across pieces of paper that looked familiar. They were my letters to Santa Claus, asking for the toys that I had wanted from previous Christmases.

I was in shock and couldn’t believe my eyes. Thousands of questions came rushing into my head, creating a sort of brain blockage that could not be breached. All I could think of was the apparent contradiction. If the letters had reached the North Pole, why would they be at my house? And since they were at my house, had they truly ever left? I ran downstairs, and as calmly as I could I asked my mother, “Is Santa Claus real?” She answered me with a question, asking me what I believed. Although I believed Santa was as real as the fingers on my hands, or the toes on my feet, I couldn’t help but think that the evidence that I had just found led to the opposite conclusion. To her question I replied no. As she nodded her head in agreement, tears began to stream down my cheeks, for I knew she was telling the truth.

It has been many years after this event, but part of me still believes in Santa; because I want to. I am not ready to let go of the childish magic that lifted my heart. I still want to feel happiness from thinking that anything can happen, even if science says it’s impossible. I guess in reality it is not in Santa that I believe; I suppose I believe in the fact that when you want to believe something you will. And that you will never honestly believe the truth until you can accept it. Looking back on my discovery has lead me to believe this, for I can not accept the fact that magic is not real. There will come a time when I will stop lying to myself during Christmas and no longer pretend that Old Saint Nick still eats the cookies that my sibling and I lay out for him; but now is not that time because….I believe.