Welcome back! Last week, we talked about the rules of the road, specifically the passing rules. Do you know them? If not, now is a great time to review. Click HERE to see that blog.
This week, we are going to talk about the reality of Santa. Is Santa real? Are we being liar faces when we tell our children about a Santa?
My dad was sneaky
As a mother, I struggled with these questions myself. As a child, I was a firm believer. Santa always stopped at our house “first”, because he had a lot of houses to get to, so on Christmas Eve, we opened our presents. My parents would put me into the car, on the pretense of going out to look at Christmas lights. My dad would inevitably have to go back into the house for some reason…to use the restroom, to retrieve a forgotten wallet or some other silly excuse. In all actuality, he was shoving the presents under the tree.
We would drive around town, waiting for Santa to arrive at our house…and just when I was getting restless, dad would say it was time to go home…he was tired. I would burst through the door, and there they were. Those elusive gifts. All mine for the ripping of wrapping paper!
Grandma Marie was confused
My surrogate grandma was very special to me, as I never knew my grandparents, but I lost a lot of respect for her the day she told me Santa wasn’t real. I went home and told my mama that something wasn’t right with grandma Marie…she was confused.
Yes, Virginia, I did believe in Santa Claus. Prove me wrong, was my motto.
I still believe
As an adult, I have to admit, I still believe. Maybe not in the traditional sense of a jolly man who comes down the chimney to deliver my wishes, but I do believe in something less tangible than the physicality of a Santa.
I believe in the good in this world. It’s hard to focus on the good, sometimes, isn’t it? So many horrible things happen, it just makes you want to throw your hands in the air and give up looking for that one bright spot, but look we must my friends.
We are being watched
And why must we look? I’ll tell you why. Because our children are watching us. They are taking their cues from us. If we can’t find the magic in the world, then how in the name of everything that is good, can they?
Letters to Santa
This is my fifth year of the Letters to Santa program. As is the Osteopathic way, David and I try to volunteer in our community as often as possible. This program allows children to write to Santa. Canby’s Elf #314 (yours truly) picks up the letters from designated businesses and personally writes back to every child, including a small gift with each letter.
No toys, Santa, just peace on earth
This year has been very difficult. Children aren’t asking for toys or for candy. They are asking for peace on earth…for people to be kind again…for people to love each other…for their parents to stop fighting.
When I get letters from nine-year-olds that say, “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is for world peace. For people to stop fighting with each other and learn to love each other”, I want to cry. Ok, I do cry. Way too much weight on that child’s shoulders.
The best I can do
My answer to this child (and the many others) was, “My Dearest (insert name), Thank you so much for your letter. Yes, Santa wishes for all those things as well. If only we could make them in the toy shop, but alas, we cannot. What you can do is keep being you. You are a sweet, loving child, Dear Heart, and the world needs you. Things change with one person…one voice. That sweet voice is yours. Never give up looking for the good in this world, because it’s there, just like Santa. Santa is powered by love, and just like the moon and the stars, he and LOVE have a right to be here. Never let go of your search for love, for it will always guide you home”.
To her parents (to all the parents) I want to tell you that you are doing something right that your children are so compassionate. It’s very sad that we adults have created a world in which love is in short supply.
Oh, our children are watching us alright…very closely at that. What message are we going to choose to send them? That the world is a scary place for us as adults? That we can’t control our emotions as grown-ups? That’s not a safe message. If the grown-ups aren’t in charge, then who is? A five-year-old? Enter free-floating anxiety, right there. That child will be afraid of everything. Nobody wants to be responsible for their parents’ emotions when they are five.
“Dear Santa, please make my mommy smile again” and “Dear Santa, Please help my daddy find love”. Those are real letters from real children.
It’s true that it takes a village
We must do better. As a collective village, we must do better. Stop and think before you speak. Pause and reflect before you act. Are there small eyes and ears in the room? Is the subject matter above their level of understanding? Will the end result be that they feel they have to take care of you? Dig deep, my friends. Dig deep. We can do this. One by one, we can all make this world a better, more peaceful world to live in…if only we believe.
This Santa can’t deliver what your children need…but you can. Peace on Earth, good will toward men.
That’s all I have for you this week, Dear Reader. Next week will be a busy one for many. Be good to yourself and each other, and we’ll meet here again to share another cup of coffee on Wednesday.