MY OLDEST DAUGHTER TEXTED on Wednesday asking for a cookie recipe. The kids, she said, would want to leave a treat for Santa.
Oh, to be young again and believe in an overweight bearded man in a red suit bearing gifts on Christmas. Just to clarify, the 6 ½-year-old granddaughter is questioning Santa’s validity. But Izzy hasn’t vocalized her suspicions to her younger brother, Isaac. I expect she wants to share her doubts, yet is hesitating lest she’s wrong. Who wants to risk Santa not leaving gifts?
There’s something to be said for believing in Santa, no matter your age. Or maybe, more accurately, there’s something to be said for the magic that accompanies believing. So I suppose, in reality, I believe in Santa still.
I believe in the joy he brings. The smiles. The goodness. The laughter. The reminder that, even in difficult times, Santa navigates around life’s obstacles through a dark sky, Rudolph’s nose lighting the way. That’s such a strong visual, one we’ve seen illustrated many times in children’s picture books.
This time of year, so many individuals, organizations, churches and more bring joy. They are, like Santa, the bearers of gifts. Toys, food, clothing, gift cards… They become the magic. But it isn’t all about the tangible “things,” although those are decidedly needed and appreciated. It’s also about what giving means to the recipient. It means someone understands, someone cares, someone sees.
Santa is not fictional. He’s real, in a magical sort of way that is timeless and believable, even to the grandma of a suspicious first grader.
TELL ME: What are your thoughts on Santa?
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling