Today we have a guest post, from my daughter who is home from college for Christmas. I appreciate her taking the time to write this when she’s been overwhelmingly busy with finals, wisdom teeth extraction, etc.
I love you, Sarah!
THE REAL SANTA
“HO HO HO, Merry Christmas!” is widely known to be what Santa Claus says. Many people, especially children, love to learn about Santa, the jolly fat man in a red suit who flies with his reindeer all over the world on Christmas Eve to give gifts to all the good girls and boys.
As children grow older though, they stop believing that Santa is real. Some parents try to make sure the children believe as long as possible, while other parents think that they should tell their children the truth about Santa before a playmate cruelly dashes their hopes. But do parents even know everything about Santa?
The most basic and widely held view of Santa in my culture is that he is an old man who loves to give presents to good little girls and boys. He and his elves watch and make a list so he knows what to give to whom, and he knows when they are asleep so he can deliver the presents without being caught. He also loves milk and cookies. Many songs and poems have been written about this Santa.
My view of Santa, which keeps me believing (even though I know that some people put presents under the tree and label them From Santa), is that Santa is simply the spirit of giving and good cheer.
Think about it. Would you like to work all year long just to lose a night’s sleep flying in the cold air to give away all your hard work? And only get a few cookies in return?
One attribute of Santa is that he gives everyone gifts because he wants to give. He also gives to everybody, regardless of how rich or poor they are, and he does not justify not giving a gift on circumstances that the person cannot control. He also spreads good cheer to everyone, even if they do not return the good cheer. Each time he does this, someone’s life becomes a little better.
I don’t know if there is a man in a red suit, but I do know that if people believe in Santa, the Santa that gives freely and spreads happiness, if we believe in him and follow his example, we will be doing what Christmas is about, and Santa will be kept alive.