I happened across an airing of Miracle on 34th Street a few days ago and it brought up the subject of Santa Claus. I’ve participated in many a lively debate on the subject over the years, and the classic movie put a lovely point on the topic for me.
The debate with my friends was about at what age children should be told the truth about Santa. And if Santa is even relevant in this day and age.
I believed in Santa Claus as a child.
It is one of the strongest, most vivid memories I have from childhood. In fact, if I think back, I could probably recall at least one present from each year I believed. Santa Claus is quite simply the definition of the “magic” of childhood. I think I knew the truth long before it was confirmed, but I didn’t want to stop believing, so I held on for as long as I could. I was almost twelve when I finally had the indisputable proof. But because my younger sister still believed, I was able to hold on to the magic for a few more years through her.
And that is what it is all about for me. The magic. It is something every child should feel and every adult wishes they could recapture.
Finding out there is no Santa Claus is the first official step away from childhood. And it’s a steep step that most of us spend the rest of our lives trying to back track. At least a little. Even if it’s just once a year.
While my children were little, because of their belief in Santa Claus, my house was again filled with the magic of Christmas. It wasn’t quite the same as when I was a child, but it is the closest I have ever come to that wonderment from my childhood.
It certainly doesn’t stop me from trying to recapture it each year. I still watch the classic Christmas specials like Rudolph, Frosty, and Charlie Brown. I immerse myself in the twinkling lights, Christmas carols, and frosted cookies until my memories swirl around me like a tornado of snowflakes on Christmas Eve and Santa Claus becomes real again.
When my children asked me, so many years ago, if Santa was real, I told them that Santa was as real as we believed he was. I still consider this to be the truth.
Christmas is the one time of year when believing in magic is not just for children… because Santa real if you believe.
And I believe in Santa Claus.
Until the next time…I’ll be hanging my stocking by the chimney with care.