I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the joy that lights up every small child’s face when his name is announced. I believe in the link that he gives us to other cultures. I believe in his representation of tradition in families across the globe. Most of all, I believe in Santa Claus.
Santa Claus brings joy to billions of good children each year on Christmas Eve. The sheer wonder and happiness at his arrival brings smiles to children and parents of all ages. The cherished memories of Christmases past still put joy in my heart. When I was a child, I remember sitting in the back seat of our old Buick on the way to visit family for Christmas Eve. I looked up in the sky and saw a glowing light flash in an arc among the stars. I remember the surge of joy I felt as I bounced in my seat, pointing at the unknown object. I remember yelling, “Mom, it is Santa!” I truly believed that the mysterious flying object was Santa’s sleigh, complete with eight tiny reindeer. Santa Claus brought more joy to me than any other fictional character of the time.
Whether he is called Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, or Father Christmas, this jolly old elf is also a common link among very different cultures. My grandmother once owned a large collection of Santa Claus statues from every country in the world. There were statues from Africa, France, Germany, the United States, Mexico, and many other countries. She and I would carefully unwrap the figures and place them on pedestals showing the correct name for Santa in each region. I could never pronounce all of the various names for Santa Claus, but I loved to try. My grandmother and I bonded over those little figurines as I learned about the world and all its nations. To me, Santa Claus is a common link among many different places in our vast world. Santa Claus, by any name, is universal.
I believe, most importantly, that Santa Claus is the most genuine representation of tradition that exists. Almost every family has Christmas traditions. My family has always left cookies and milk out for Santa Claus, as well as a garden salad for his reindeer. In return, Santa Claus would always leave an apple and an orange in my stocking. Traditions last a lifetime, and I know that I will one day pass on these traditions to my future children.
Why do I believe in Santa Claus? I believe in Santa Claus because he is alive; if not tangibly, then spiritually. He brings joy to the hearts of many, links cultures together through a common symbol, and represents traditions that hold a special place in every family. Christmas would not be merry without his jolly laugh.
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