When I was in the fifth grade a debate began at school that I was determined to find the answer to at home. At school I adamantly defended the existence of Santa Claus. Of course he was real. I had undisputed facts, real evidence. My logic was thus: who took my note thanking him and asking how he and the reindeer were managing on Christmas Eve? By the way, he did leave me a thank you note in return, I even have his signature saved in a scrap book as evidence. Who drank the hot chocolate I left on the stove (with cooking directions and all) or ate the cookies I left out? Who else drove a sleigh with reindeer whose hooves I heard, with my own ears on my roof? Who else had elf workers who would peek in the kitchen window at dinnertime and check the status of my dinner plate?
Well, Steve and Brian both challenged my hard facts; my real life experience and I decided I would go home to my mother, my number one authority. I would ask her about the existence of Santa. She would know the answer and of course tell me the truth. I was scared to ask, I didn’t want to let on that I doubted, but I got up my nerve and whispered, “Mom, is Santa Claus real?” Without hesitation and with a firm resolve she replied, “There will be a Santa Claus as long as you believe in one.” I was right! I could prove my point to my school friends, but then I thought I might keep that answer to myself. It felt like a secret that only I should know.
I realize that I believe in Santa Claus, as much now as I did then. I choose to believe in the unbelievable. I picture the alternative as unbearable; a bleak, colorless, quiet, dark world, without hope. Because I believe I choose to wake up first on Christmas morning, still experience the magic surprise of gifts under the tree, and now blessed with the ability to give in return, I feel warmed the joy I can bring to others. I go to church wearing something new and am filled with hope and believe the unbelievable, that the birth of a baby brings hope to the world…that all will be well. I believe that I want to live in a world where there could be magic, light, surprise and unconditional love, and yes Santa Claus.
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