Monday, December 7, 2009
Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
The holiday season is rapidly approaching and despite tough economic times and a year filled with personal challenges, many of us sense building excitement as twinkling lights and decorated trees begin to appear.
As holistic-minded parents, we may view the season's arrival with both anxiety and happiness. We may dread the commercialism of the holidays; the wastefulness of the cards, trees, and wrappings; and the unhealthy temptations that creep into our diets. But we may also celebrate the sentiments in which this season is embedded: generosity, family, love, and giving. Embodying these virtues is the jolly figure of Santa Claus, a legend of the season that is hard not to embrace. My eight year old puts us on the spot regularly about the existence of Santa Claus, looking for evidence to demonstrate that he is real or any indication of a total commitment to the fantasy in either of his parents.
Our response? We wax poetic about jolly old Santa Claus, leave him gluten-free cookies (and organic carrots for his reindeer), and insist upon the veracity of his being. Although we may be roundly criticized for telling tall tales or being dishonest with our children, we believe that Santa Claus is, in fact, a part of all us. Yes, we know that the legend is grounded in the benevolent Saint Nicholas and his penchant for giving to children and those less fortunate and that there may well be some truthful historical roots for the character we celebrate today. But our certainty about the existence of Santa Claus is an acknowledgement of our personal philosophy that people are essentially good and generous at their cores, and that love and giving are values we all want to live by.
So when asked by my older son "Mom, do you really believe in Santa Claus?", I can honestly say "yes" because I have seen people who give of themselves every day, people who anonymously reach out to help someone who is struggling, people who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place for all of us, people who radiate love and generosity, light and passion. I believe in the magic that Santa can create by bringing smiles and love to families, opening hearts, and how his presence (real or mythical) inspires us to give and to share. I believe in the Santa in all of us and celebrate the season that allows us to bring forth that positive, loving energy. Besides, who can resist a good belly laugh?
Posted by Mama at Monday, December 07, 2009