I’m sixteen years old and I want to believe in Santa Claus. And the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny. I want to believe in imaginary friends, fairy godmothers, and Prince Charming. I live for wanting to believe in these things.
Yes, I live for wanting to believe in Santa Claus. I want to believe in him because he stands for the pure joy in giving and receiving. The tooth fairy stands for celebration of growing up and the Easter Bunny for innocent discovery. I want to believe in imaginary friends because they stand for the freedom and spirit I lost as I grew up. Fairy godmothers stand for magic. I want to believe in Prince Charming because he means true love.
When I was little, the world told me to believe in those things. My parents faithfully endured long nights on Christmas Eve to make sure I woke up to a glittering tree surrounded by presents from Santa. They gave that joy to me for so many years, and every year I received it with tousled hair and sparkling eyes. My friends dutifully shared their imaginary friends with me as I had done with them, and together, we believed. Disney told me over and over that Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet one day just as he had done with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and the rest. And so I believed. I went through my childhood holding the magic, wonder, and joy of these beliefs close to my heart. Then I reached an age at which the world decided I couldn’t believe anymore. By fifth grade, presents from Santa appeared in my mom’s closet in October. Long before that, my friends and I had abandoned our imaginary friends for networks of real ones, and we had more important things to deal with, such as who liked whom and who was wearing the cutest new shoes. Even Prince Charming had lost his appeal. By this time, I knew what divorce was, and the Prince Charming I had once known wouldn’t do that.
Slowly, I stopped believing, and, bit-by-bit, the magic stopped shining as it once had. I started seeing the world for what it was. If there was truly purity in giving and receiving, then no one would be stingy or lacking. If freedom and spirit existed in the real world, no one would spend another punch-card measured day in a cubicle again. If Prince Charming really existed, there would be no broken hearts or broken families.
Right now, I’m not sure I truly believe in what Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or fairy godmothers stand for. I just haven’t seen those things often enough in the real world to know for sure that they are there. But I want to believe. In wanting to believe, I believe those things, the magic, joy, spirit, and so on, are out there somewhere. In wanting to believe, I am giving myself the opportunity to find them, to believe.