Monday, December 5, 2011

Do You Believe?

So there has been this ongoing discussion in our office whether to have children believe in Santa Claus or not.  First—I’m the only person without kids, so my opinion differs.  However, I think that kids should believe in Santa Claus—don’t you believe?  I was telling one of the girls, maybe he’s not real.  But what is real is seeing a child’s wonderment at Santa Claus, and the magic of getting gifts that “appear” under the tree.  Aren’t we supposed to come to God as children?  As we age do we lose that magic of believing in things?  Some families observe a more traditional and factual celebration of St Nickolas and the presents in the shoes.  Others just have 3 gifts under the tree, signifying the 3 gifts for the baby Jesus.  Others believe that lying to your children about Santa Claus is a bad example, only leading children to believe you’re lying about other things.  Hmmm.  I do believe, in the Spirit of Christmas, and what a more adequate jolly representation of that spirit than a man in a bright red suit who brings joy to good little boys and girls?  Do you believe?


  1. Part 1--You betcha' I believe and why not? Is there any one thing that symbolizes the hope and dreams of the Christmas season better? When you see pictures of Santa or see him in stores, his look (white beard, red clothes, etc.) can't help but make you smile. And since he is supposed to be the picture of caring for children in particular, what harm can there be in that? In a world where so many children are abused, neglected, hungry, abandoned and devalued, is it so wrong to have a figure that personifies the wonder and beauty of childhood. In addition, no child has a perfect childhood, even in the best of circumstances, but Santa and his persona help smoothe the difficult parts of childhood over with the idea of hope and dreams--two qualities that everyone needs to survive.

    As far as not telling kids about Santa because he's not real and that would be lying to them...that's bunk in my opinion. Some of the most real things in life are things we can't see, touch or hear; they are things of the heart. I can't see that people love me but I know it's so by their actions. I don't have to see the "real" Santa but I know he exists by the love, charity and hope I see during the Christmas season. When I watch kids lined up to sit on Santa's lap at stores during the Christmas season, I think most kids know it's not the real Santa but it doesn't matter to them. What matters is having someone to tell their dreams and hopes to. Someone who will listen to them for a few minutes and give them a hug. If listening to a child's dreams and giving them undivided attention for a few minutes isn't real, I don't know what is. Kids have imaginary friends and no one tries to tell them that they are lying to themselves about their friend. How is Santa so different? How many kids play make-believe with their parents and no one questions that. Is believing in Santa so different?

    I can remember the year when I realized that my parents were Santa and it didn't diminish my love for the jolly elf at all. I still enjoy getting presents labeled "From Santa." It's the spirit of giving that matters.

    I think telling kids that Santa is a lie deprives kids of one of the most treasured memories of childhood. I seriously doubt that any child has suffered mental issues from the trauma of finding out Santa is really their parents. I think kids intuitively know deep down the truth, but their imaginations which are inhibited soon enough by growing up, want to believe in something bigger than life.

  2. Part 2--To me the following article (the most repeated an famous editorial in the English language) summarizes it well and for the record--Santa, I've been a good girl this year. I can't wait for you to fill my stocking at Christmas.

    "DEAR EDITOR: 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 [what] 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 they 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 may 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, fancy, 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 he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.