Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"Of course he's real, Lee!"

"I mean, have you seen him?"

Have I seen him?  As in, with my own two eyes, land on my roof, slide down my chimney, leave gifts, eat cookies, and slip out silently?  Have I heard his "Ho Ho Ho" or "Merry Christmas to all" bellow over the snow?  Have I felt his fuzzy beard and looked into his sparkling eyes and told him my deepest hopes and dreams?

No.

Is Santa real, mom?  Yes.

There's something different about Santa Claus, you see.  Santa has a way of bringing out the best in people.  Nobody starts wars in Santa's name.  Nobody says "Santa hates you because you're different than me."  Santa simply brings people gifts, and does so anonymously and quietly.  He goes about doing good and never asks for anything in return.  Santa Claus knows everyone and loves them just the way they are.  He watches them and thinks about them constantly, and always puts himself aside to show that love to others.

Once a year, for a few precious moments, I get to be Santa Claus.  I look forward to it every year, and start thinking about it months in advance.  I get to pick out special gifts for my children that I know they'll love.  I get to hide things away and plot surprises and imagine someone's delight when the surprises are finally revealed.  And at last, on Christmas Eve when the noise from the bedrooms has fallen silent, I get to pull out all my hard work and stick it in a stocking and then lie restlessly in my bed as I anticipate the next morning and the joy that will ensue.  I know that all around the world, billions of other parents and guardians are doing the same thing; and at that moment, I know for a certainty that Santa Claus is real and that he has visited every home on Earth.  He's left his calling card and I can see it in every eye: love.  That deep love that a parent has for a child--that prayer for their well being--that gift of life--that selflessness and overwhelming desire for everyone else to be happy, no matter what--that's who Santa Claus is. 

"Mom, is Santa real?"

"Yes, Lee, Santa Claus is very real."

"I mean, have you seen him?"

"I have, my son, I truly have.  And he is amazing."

4 comments:

Rach said...

Beautifully said. Santa Clause is not a person, but an idea. He is the spirit of Christmas, of love of joy. He is a type of our Savior whose birth we celebrate. He brings happiness and cheer all season. Of course he is real!

Laurie Fifield said...

I don't have words to describe this. One of your best works yet. I love you.

Nikki said...

This is wonderful. I love how you explain it.

Granny D Fifield said...

I'd like a hard copy of this one. Would that be possible. Well done!