This I Believe

Hayley - Traverse City, Michigan
Entered on May 23, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I Still Believe in Santa Clause

I believe in Santa Clause. Not that jolly fat guy in the big fuzzy red suit with the white beard and black boots, but the spirit of Santa Clause. The spirit of giving gifts to those in need. The kinds of gifts that do not have to be wrapped, personalized or even tangible; they just need to be given from the heart. Giving is very close to my heart because it truly is with giving that we receive.

I have always believed in the importance of giving money, food, and myself. I have been involved with various community service projects through out my life and most recently a soup kitchen. Through this kitchen I have really seen the benefits from my gifts, in others and in my self. I have given so many things to this soup kitchen: my smiles, my love, my care, my food, my money, my time, my hands. Through the years I have realized that one of the best acts a person can do for some one in need is to offer them a hand. One day in particular I remember a younger man coming in late. Everyone who had attended the meal was leaving; he walked in by himself, cold and hungry. He was in need of conversation and was obviously having some real problems in his life that had put him in this situation. As always, it was not my place to judge. The volunteers made up a meal, got him some coffee and sat to talk with him. After he had eaten his meal, I went to take his garbage so I could clean up. He said, “You know I have been given fists for so long, it was really nice to be given a hand instead.” This showed me the power of giving oneself for the greater good of others.

The impact that I have made on others is not nearly as great as the impact that I have received on myself. Recently, I spent a month in the hospital and one of the things that kept me going was the gifts of others. I received cards, cookies, books, stuffed animals and plants of every variety. Although the tangible gifts were nice, the conversations, emails, phone calls and the messages behind the gifts meant so much more. I was on the receiving end of many hands. I was on the receiving end of the gifts that I had believed in my whole life. After that experience I continued my service with a new appreciation for the gifts I gave, and how others would receive them. Giving gifts will always be a part of my life.

People say, “You are an adult now, there is no way that you can believe in Santa, or giving. You see how evil and cruel the world is.” I answer them honestly. Yes, I do still believe in Santa Clause and I am not afraid to admit it.