A children's story...for adults
We remember, don't we? We remember getting up early and running downstairs to see if the biggest, happiest, jolliest old elf had paid our homes a visit. We stayed up half the night to see if we could catch a glimpse of this magical figure...and we always ran over to the little empty plate where cookies used to sit and the half-filled glass of milk PROVED that he had been there! What excitement surrounded us as children at Christmas!
I also remember the year I found out the truth. Like most of us, even before the truth was revealed, we kinda already knew, right? It wasn't quite adding up...although my father could be quite persuasive...for a while.
ME: "So dad, let me get this straight...if Santa brings the presents...then why are there presents under the tree right now?
DAD: "They're empty."
ME: "But why did you wrap them and how will Santa fill them?"
DAD: He's magic! Now go to bed!"
Can't argue with... magic.
But I intimate that the TRUTH...is nothing of the sort...there IS a SANTA! As sure as I am sitting here writing this...there is a Santa Claus! Let me explain...
What is belief? According to the dictionary, belief is...
"...Confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof"
In other words, putting trust in things which require little or no proof. It is the same concept used by those who choose to follow a certain religious ideology.
Something does not have to "materialize" to be true. Some things are true, even if they are not tangible. As an atheist, I can tell you that, although I may not believe in a god, I DO believe in the power of belief...and further understand that...believing makes many things real to us individually.
Those who believe in the power of religion have seen lives changed for the better. They have seen men who spent there entire paychecks on alcohol...after their religious experience...now spending that money on milk for their children.
Apart from religion, we have seen belief operate through the sacrifice of men and women on the battlefield...because they dared to believe that ALL men are created equal...and ALL men should be free. Freedom became real...not because it already existed...but because men and women DARED to believe in it!
These things can't be proven with the five senses, but none the less...they are very real. We may disagree on implementation, we may disagree about the proper way to believe, we may even disagree about whether Santa should be the focus this time of year.
But one thing is certain...when we were little...Santa was as real as the falling snow on Christmas morning. So...after we find out otherwise...that Santa is...less than physical...why do we step away with such disdain? Our dreams have not been broken. He WAS real...in those moments as a child...he was VERY real...and no one could tell us otherwise...he was real...because we dared to believe it.
We may know that Santa Claus is an intangible figure...but the heart of someone wishing well for all children (and children at heart) still exists. People still wish there were a present for every child in the world...people still hope for peace on Earth and good will toward men. And people still believe in finding that one special gift for that one special someone...because they dare to believe in the power of giving.
No friends...Santa is not an abstract figure from our past...he still resides in the hearts of all who choose to believe. I choose to believe in Santa Claus! So this year friends...if even for a minute during the Holiday season...dare to believe.
Let's stop adulting momentarily, and remember what it felt like when we believed. Because...once there was Santa...and the world was magical! BELIEVE.
To my son Christopher who is serving our country abroad at Christmas. Love you son.
About the Author
Braden Daniels was born in Saginaw, Michigan and has been writing articles and books for over 30 years.