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Yes Virginia, There’s Actually MORE Than Santa Claus

Updated on December 18, 2008


Disclaimer: Sometimes I surprise myself. I started out (as I do with most blogs) coming up with the title. I intended it to be a caustic romp about the holidays being more than just Christians and their fat guy with the high cholesterol in the red suit. As I started writing I discovered that any bitchy sarcasm that I had intended to write went away. So while I’m sure this is not what I started out to write, I’m pleasantly surprised to find that it didn’t make me cringe either. Santa, is that you?

There’s a famous letter to the editor (supposedly) written many moons ago where a young girl named Virginia wrote in asking the editor of a newspaper whether or not there was a Santa Claus. The letter and reply are legendary now and someone even put it all to music, if you really want to listen to it. Basically the reply consists of the editor telling Virginia that indeed Santa does exist, in fact “he exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.” So as we get closer and closer to the magical date of Christmas (and for some of us, Hanukkah) and with the newspapers going bankrupt, I thought I’d take a stab at answering Virginia’s question. Yes Virginia, there’s actually MORE than Santa Claus – Don’t Get Me Started!

Okay Virginia, here’s the deal. Yes, there’s a Santa Claus, in fact there are many, many Santa Clauses because as the world population grows it just seems as though Santa needs some help. You see, like many things in life that you’re going to experience, sometimes you can’t do it all alone. And although there are going to be times when you feel all alone just know that there’s always someone out there to talk to (even if you have to pay them to listen – i.e., a therapist). But let’s not get so hung up on the guy in the red suit for a minute, okay?

Think about the last time you did something nice for someone. Do you remember something? Okay, now most likely you weren’t wearing a red suit and didn’t have a white beard but the fact that you were giving of yourself basically made you a Santa Claus too. You see, when you do something for someone else that’s called, “being nice” and we all know about the naughty and nice list right? And what about that list? Can someone be completely naughty or completely nice? Sorry to say I don’t think this is the case. I think we each have a choice we make every day (in fact sometimes several times in the day) to decide whether to be naughty or nice. Sometimes, being a little naughty feels good. You know, like when an extra gumball falls out of the machine and you didn’t pay for it. Don’t get hung up on this stuff as being naughty, just enjoy the gum ball. However, you also need to understand that there are certain times when you can be too naughty, say kicking your brother or being intentionally mean to someone. Those kinds of things will get you on the “naughty side” of the list pronto! And niceness is more than just doing what you’re told (sometimes the nicest thing you can do is not doing what you’re told. If someone tells you not to talk to or not to be friends with someone because they look or believe differently than you, that is not being nice. Use your good judgment and make a friend. You can never have too many).

Now here’s the hardest part to understand, Virginia. A lot of people use Santa’s picture to sell you stuff. The only thing that Santa sells is a feeling and it’s completely free. The feeling is that we should be good to one another and live in peace and harmony. Throughout your life there are going to be a lot of people who try to sell you a lot of stuff. And sometimes they’re going to wear a Santa suit to try and convince you to buy what they’re selling. Learn the difference early on between a “need” and a “want” – a “need” is food or clothing while a “want” is a new Nintendo system, game or a flat screen television to play the game on. “Needs” give you something that helps you survive on the planet. A “want” usually ends up in a box somewhere forgotten because another “want” took its place and then another “want” and another “want” and it just keeps going until your garage is full of old “wants” and nothing you need. It’s okay to want things it’s just important to remember the difference between a need and want, okay?

Finally Virginia when in doubt listen to your heart. How do you listen to your heart? Get somewhere very quiet and close your eyes. Let every thought that ever came into your head go whizzing around like some sort of word/thought roller coaster in your mind. And after a few minutes of the roller coaster whizzing around it will pull into the station and your mind will be free of all the whizzing thoughts and if you’re quiet enough and listen enough you’ll hear your heart. Your heart knows you better than anyone and what you’ll find is that it will help you make the right decision every time.

So while it’s great that Santa brings toys, I’m here to tell you that your heart can bring you much more than any man in a red suit. Listen to your heart, share your heart and you’ll find the gifts you get are more precious than anything that comes wrapped with a bow. Yes Virginia, there’s actually MORE than Santa Claus – Don’t Get Me Started!

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