Just to clarify, I’m not a four-year-old. I know that Santa isn’t real and I know that my parents were the ones leaving all those wonderful presents behind. I can vividly remember the day I told my mother Santa wasn’t real. I waited for her to contradict me, to break out in reassurances that even though things might look questionable, the reindeer really did eat my carrots. Instead, she sighed and asked me not to tell my younger brother.
I was heartbroken. I was one of the last kids in my class to hold on to Santa Claus, and even though I had my doubts in years before, I knew that there was no way the entire world would buy into that kind of a lie. After all, there was irrefutable proof that Santa existed – it’s not like someone could have made up Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. But now I had nothing left. I finally had to admit that all of my friends were right, that our childhoods had been based on one lie after another. Plenty of my friends were angry that they had been lied to; I was just disappointed.
I noticed that there were obvious differences between those who believed and those who did not. There were people who smiled, laughed, and wished others a Merry Christmas. Then there were people who lied, cheated, and humbug-ed their way through the season. There were too many people being naughty and not enough being nice. In Miracle on 34th Street, a lawyer reminds the world that Santa means more than Christmas. He represents “kindness and joy and love and all those other intangibles”. It is those intangibles that are missing in people who just don’t have Christmas spirit.
Even now, I am hanging on to Santa and his reindeer. Thanksgiving is my second favorite day of the year because it marks the beginning of the Christmas season. As soon as we finish the turkey, I can start playing carols and pulling out ornaments for our tree. I find every classic Christmas movie I can, and I watch them all at least twice. Maybe Santa isn’t real anymore, but that doesn’t mean I can’t believe in him.
The world would be a better place if everyone remembered what it was like to believe in Santa. Obviously, you don’t have to believe in Santa, or even in Christmas, to appreciate what it all stands for. Just believe in kindness, generosity, and a little bit of cheer.
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