Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Yes! . . . There is a Santa

 We had all gathered for our annual Christmas Eve festivities. The house was decorated with the sights and sounds of Christmas – a green tree with ornaments and decorations in shades of beige. Garland adorned the railings and the walls. Christmas music floated from iPod dock. We were laughing and talking, stuffed from eating enough food to feed the block. There was the traditional fare of turkey, dressing Mac & cheese & string beans & so much more. There was something to please even the pickiest palettes.

While we were anxiously waiting to play what we’ve come to expect as a hilarious game of the white elephant gift exchange, my sister and her friend, both retired teachers were weaving this elaborate tale of how Santa manages to see children all over the world in a single night! The adults were laughing at the absolute absurdity of their story, but the children were enraptured! They had been tracking Santa on the iPad, and he was in Canada headed to the United States.  My nephew told us that Santa sent him an email. I shook my head because even Santa had to get with it and move into the digital age.

Their bizarre story had something to do with Santa being able to protect the reindeer as he traveled through the sound barrier. And because he traveled through different time zones it was possible for him to see all the children in one night! It didn’t hurt that he also traveled faster than the speed of light, and that he had the help of an elf in every state.  I laughed at the silliness of my sister’s story, and went home with it in my head. I woke up with the story on my mind-- thankful for its true meaning. Their story represented innocence. It represented faith. It represented good will.

I thought about the various ways I saw children preparing for Santa’s visit. There were of course the numerous pictures of children posing with Santa, but there were also the Official Zay Zay and Jo Jo videos, a picture on Facebbook of siblings praying over the cookies they baked for Santa, and of course the tracking of Santa on the iPad. 

Every year the postal service actually gets hundreds of thousands of letters to Santa, and there are people who adopt children to make their Christmas wishes come true. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Letters to Santa program. In lieu of Christmas gifts this year, my family chose to sponsor a family in need. This whole week I’ve been constantly reminded of the countless ways that people bring joy to the less fortunate during the holiday season.We may not be fat, white men with beards in red suits, but we are Santa. 

In a time when there is so much ugliness in the world, children deserve to have something magical. We all do. What's wrong with that?


  1. Magical moments make our lives easier and give us hope. There is nothing wrong with that at all. After celebrating all these years and recalling how I, as a child, anxiously awaited Santa's arrival, I feel like the kid on "Miracle on 34th Street", I can now say," I do believe, I do believe".
    Thanks, Stephanie for rekindling those fantasies.

    1. Thank you! We have to remember that as adults we cannot become so jaded and cynical by life's sometimes harsh reality that we forget what it means to believe in something.

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