Every Christmas my Dad hangs up a sign on our wall that reads, “In this house, we believe in Santa Claus.” Even now that my sister and I are older and know that my dad is the one who puts the presents under the tree, he continues to hang up that sign. I never understood how a man in his 50’s could still believe in make believe stories like Santa Claus. Every year, he even dresses up as Santa and goes with our church to a center for less fortunate families. I had school off one year on this day and got dragged along with him because they needed more “elves and Santa’s helpers.” The entire drive there, I was fuming in the passenger seat thinking about all my friends getting to sleep in and enjoy their day off.
However, something transformed me when I got there. At first I thought it was the little kids sitting on Santa’s lap asking for simple necessities like a winter coat and a pair of shoes. Here I was complaining about how I had to get out of my warm queen size bed in my own room and come volunteer and help these kids who might not get anything for Christmas if it wasn’t for our help. I was overwhelmed with awe for these selfless people who come out every year, taking a whole day off work, just so they can put a smile on a child’s face. And not only does this group spend half their day with these kids, we even went over and spent the rest of the day with about a hundred senior citizens who have no families to visit them around the holidays.
Santa Claus is more than just this big jolly fat guy who comes down chimneys and leaves presents for little kids. Santa Claus embodies the idea that giving is better than receiving. I learned a valuable lesson that has stuck with me ever since that day of volunteering. The benefits from giving my time and my love are so much greater than anything I could get in return. Santa Claus exists in me and in all of us. Even the Scrooges and Grinches in the world have Santa in them. After that day I truly understood the phrase “it is better to give than to receive.”
Now I can finally say,
“In this house, I believe in Santa Claus.”
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