Rule # 88- Santa is real
As we approach Christmas I am quick to remind my children of the Hill household rule that when anyone stops believing in Santa, Santa no longer visits them. This rule has kept my teenagers from sharing there skepticism of the jolly guy with any impressionable toddler.
This year I have to face the real possibility that I am left as the only true believer in the household. That even Abby at 13 has serious doubts as to St Nicholas’ existence.
But even in the face of these non-believers I stand hard on my rule, and my belief that he exists.
Yes, sure I have heard all the reasons to not believe- that he would be hundreds of years old, that he could not possibly visit all the world in one night and that reindeers flying is a physical impossibility. But I argue that there are three very good reasons not to give up belief and encourage others to believe…
First, life is hard and true happiness is challenging to hang on to for long. When I find someone that is truly happy, harming no one and helping others I generally leave that someone alone. If someone has found a way to be positive to others I think they should be praised and encouraged for their behavior and questioned very little. If a fat old man came up to me today and handed me a present I’d ask very few questions about his existence. By all accounts Santa meets the definition of this type of person.
Second, as I’ve gotten older I have become far less certain about the world and what is true and not true. I have seen many things that I was absolutely certain of in my 20’s fall to the dust over time. When I was young I always wore a hat in the winter because I knew with certainty that a person lost 40% of their body heat from their head. Only problem was I was absolutely wrong, at maximum its 10% that is lost. If I can be wrong about that and Aerosmith being the best band ever, I can be wrong about Santa. Nothing is absolutely certain.
Finally our world needs people with grateful hearts, people that want to give more than they take in the world. I look at the phenomenal success of Pope Frances recent visit to the US and realize that he is loved because his central message is to give to and care for the poor. I’ve never met the Pope personally but have seen him on television, the same can be said of Santa. If I can give a man with a grateful heart like the Pope the benefit of the doubt that he exists I can certainly extend the same to a man that gives to everyone each year.
We live in a cynical world full of negative people doing bad things to others. I chose to put my belief is a man who is perhaps the most positive, kind and grateful creature that ever existed. I personally hope that he lives on for another thousand years, delivering the messages of hope and joy.
And as tradition dictates as I distributed the gifts that the big guy left this year I expect each of my children to affirm their belief as well. No Santa, no gift.