I guess I must have been about 10 when I started to realize the truth behind mystery of Christmas. Putting together the pieces I began to realize that Santa and my Dad were one in the same and that my Dad neither owned a red suit or a sleigh let alone flying reindeer. From that point on my perspective on Christmas changed and not entirely for the worse. With this knowledge came a whole new bargaining power when it came to negotiating for gifts, a skill maintained well into my adult life.
As an adult the myth of Saint Nick grew further and further from truth. I became cynical of the whole holiday which had in my mind become a commercialized money grab.
Then I became a father. Now at first this only acted as a catalyst to further strengthen the resolve of my cynicism. Every commercial followed by a chorus of “I wants”. It is almost enough to stir resentment towards TV itself, almost. With every year the “I wants” grow bigger. A rate of growth exponentially disproportionate to the growth of the child. Couple this with crowded malls, winter driving and the ever increasing cost of living in this country and it is a wonder that more people don’t lose it this time of year. I would not find it shocking at all if I were to turn on the news and hear tell of a quite suburban mom driving her Tahoe through the front door of Wal-mart and opening fire with a semi automatic rifle. She would be a modern day hero, the Robin Hood of suburbia. How could anyone believe in Kris Kringle.
Then came Emma; my second youngest daughter five years old now with a heart twice the size of her small frame. She believes in Santa, oh how she believes. The excitement she feels lights up her eyes such that like the sun itself they are hard to look upon. Her excitement tripping in words off her tongue, often returning to where it started many times before the thoughts are fully expressed. A smile on her face that is so genuine you can feel it in your heart. A joy that it is not a reflection of the gifts she hopes to find under the tree December 25th; but rather a joy stemming from a deep rooted belief that a fat man in red will be flying from his home in a reindeer powered sleigh and landing on her roof Christmas eve. And a concern.
“Daddy, how will he get through the chimney?”
“Daddy, how will he get off the roof?”
“Daddy, what it is snowing?”
Looking in her eyes you know this is not a concern for the packages he carries, but a real concern for the well being of someone she has never met but who is as real as you or I.
How can he NOT be real? If she believes it, it must be real. Certainly it is as real to Emma as the ground she walks on and the air she believes. And why shouldn’t he be.
For the happiness that fills the minds of the young. For the hope that is brought to those with so little. For the kindness of all at this time and all the year through, how can he not be real?
I it is my daughter that I have to thank. For it is in her innocence, purity and the unconditional love in her heart that I have seen Santa.
I am 33 years old and I am proud to say that I Believe in Santa Clause.