Posted on

Nothing wrong with believing in season’s magic

I’m going to be an aunt!
OK, for clarification, I already am an aunt, to two beautiful girls, Madeline and Peyton, but, unfortunately, they live in Florida and I see them only two or three times a year.
This new little one will be born in May to my brother, Matt, and future sister-in-law, McKenzie, and will be close enough for me to visit every weekend.
With the impending arrival of a new baby, that has me ‘ along with everyone else in my family ‘ thinking about new family traditions and ways to celebrate this particular holiday season and how it will all change in the years to come.
One of the changes I’m hearing about is the dismissal of Santa Claus.
I’ve heard many a mommy make cases against spreading the story of Santa Claus to their children in the past few weeks. Some say they don’t want to encourage materialism, while others simply don’t want to lie to the faces of their sweet angels. Still, others believe Santa takes away from the ‘reason for the season’ and might obscure the true holy qualities of the holiday.
For all those people, I say, bah, humbug!
I think Santa Claus, St. Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, the fat man in the red suit or whatever you want to call him provides something essential to the lives of children: a bit of magic.
Santa derives from the stories of Saint Nicholas of Myra, a Christian figure in the fourth century. Found in present-day Turkey, he was famous for his generosity to the underprivileged, especially with his gifts. He was ultimately persecuted for his love of Christ and Christianity.
Without Christ, there wouldn’t be a Santa Claus, whose name was taken from the Dutch ‘Sinter Klaas,’ the name for St. Nicholas.
If we teach our children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, cousins and friends that Santa is a giver, a man who is generous and kind and always looking out for us, what harm can that do? And if you’re so inclined to tie in Santa with Christ, the imagery is fuller and the stories more vibrant.
Plus, it just seems natural. Admittedly, I haven’t been in an elementary school classroom in quite a few years, but doesn’t Santa still come up? Don’t the kids see Christmas movies and hear stories of Santa or are they too jaded for that now? And if they are, isn’t it their parents’ faults?
I asked my mom how I found out that Santa was all a ruse, and Mom said she was of the belief that, if I ever asked, she would be honest with me. Turns out, she shouldn’t have worried. Classmates (probably those whose parents robbed them of Christmas joy) told me during my kindergarten year that I was dumb for believing in the jolly man, and I cried to my mother for help. She said she sat me down and explained that, no, there wasn’t actually a Santa, but that it was really her and Dad who put the gifts under the tree. Of course, later I was the one responsible for ruining Santa for my brother, but at least we had some years of believing. And it’s something my mom doesn’t regret letting us believe in.
I’m glad I had the chance, for some point in my life, to believe in magic. It must have been wondrous and exciting. I’m not scarred for life, overly materialistic or angry at my parents for lying to me. I also haven’t lost the real meaning of Christmas. In fact, if anything, I think I’d be sad if my parents hadn’t let me believe in Santa, his reindeer, Mrs. Claus, the North Pole and all the magic in between. I’d feel like I missed out on some big party everyone else attended, to be honest, or like everyone is sharing a big secret, except me.
I’ll encourage my brother and his fiancee to tell their new baby about Santa, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy and any other fable I can think of, because I want my nieces and nephews to experience the magic of believing in the impossible. Because I know a little of that magic still has roots inside me today, as I always secretly listen for reindeer hoofs on my rooftop on Christmas Eve and listen closely to hear something, or scan the sky for a red comet that could be Santa’s sleigh. I hope I always will.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all the readers of The Corydon Democrat. I hope as you celebrate this magical holiday next Tuesday, you’ll share the joy of the season with family and friends, and remember the true reason we gather together.