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I Will Always Believe in Santa Claus
Ever since we were children, we have heard stories of a man named St. Nicholas who wanted to share the joy of giving with children everywhere. He somehow manages to ride his magic sleigh to deliver gifts to every child and slide down chimneys, all the while eating cookies and drinking milk at each stop. The wonder and anticipation we all felt kept us awake late on Christmas Eve. Then we grew up and playing Santa became a burdensome role we have to play for our children each year. The obligation, responsibility, commercialism, long lines, sold-out stores and overspending all have a way of ruining any enjoyment we might have felt in Christmas past. Some people even associate Christmas with a sense of dread. No one should have to feel like that on the merriest day of the year.
Even with the presence of so many factors that could cause us to want to hibernate right through the whole season, we must remind ourselves and the rest of the world of all the good things that Christmas brings.
Christmas is a time for celebrating the gift of love, friends and family. Gift-giving became a Christian tradition because people wanted to celebrate the gifts given to Jesus by the three wise men. Although it began as a Christian tradition, many non-religiously active individuals also celebrate with this tradition, therefore, it has come to be more about love, friends, family and the spirit of giving among some people. As a result, it is fair to say that Christmas should bring only happy thoughts and memories. This is difficult as a result of excessive commercialism. We need to find a way to make Christmas more about celebration and love and less about gifts. This means getting back to basics.
Sometimes, we just need something to remind us of the magic Christmas brings. Nothing brings back the good ole' days like finding our inner child. There are so many fun things to do during the holiday season. Here are a few things that are sure to make your holiday magically fun:
- build a snowman or snow angels (if you have snow)
- decorate gingerbread cookies or a gingerbread house
- light up your whole yard
- watch Christmas classics like "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", "A Charlie Brown Christmas", "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" or "Frosty the Snowman"
- make handmade ornaments
- go riding to look at Christmas lights
- surround yourself with everything Christmas, from music to decorations
Acts of kindness have a tendency to bring out the best in everyone involved. It makes you feel good and feeling good helps alleviate stress and anxiety, in addition to promoting positive thinking. If you make other people happy, it is sure to bring out their own goodness. Not only will you be helping yourself remember and celebrate all the happiness Christmas past has brought you, but you will be making someone else's Christmas present great and one day, it will be their wonderful Christmas past. You may change another person's memories for the better.
Don't let anyone steal your joy at Christmas time or any other time of year. Joy and joyous memories have the power to keep us going through life's trials and tribulations. Life without joy would be a sad reality. Santa Claus is the epitome of Christmas joy and the spirit of giving, but also representative of love, hope, kindness and goodness. I believe in all these things and that we need to feel them, especially at Christmas. Some would argue that magic is nonsense and Santa doesn't really exist, but those people just need to be reminded that kindness is goodness and goodness is magic.
Perhaps, Francis P Church said it best in his editorial first published by The New York Sun in 1897, in response to a question from Virginia O'Hanlon:
Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus
By Francis P. Church, first published in The New York Sun in 1897. [See The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358–9.]
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.