Among the many things we as parents enforce, the magical mirage that is Santa Claus may be the most beautiful. We must perpetuate this belief as long as possible for a variety of reasons- not the least of which is the pure, uncomplicated joy that resides in a child’s faith in the unseen. But how do we do this in a world where dangerous information is relentlessly shoved at our children? Well, here is my father’s delightful explanation to our children when they were feeling confused about the whole Santa thing. To help you visualize, my father has a luxurious white beard and mustache, and quite the twinkle in his eyes… hint, hint.
“Grandfather? How is the man at the store the real Santa because wasn’t he just in the Macy’s Parade on the television?” Damned Macy’s. My father could have easily explained that the parade had been previously filmed, but no, not my dad. He has a subtler method of attack. Take note!
“Well, children, it goes like this. Santa is at his busiest time right now, overseeing the elves as they make toys, getting the reindeer geared up for the long trip, tweaking his sled. You know how complicated international travel can be.”
“Oh, no! So, all Santases are fake?”
“No, no, no! Santa has officially designated representatives whom he has handpicked to go all over the world, talk to children, and then report back to him.”
“So, the Santases are real?”
“They are the real spirit of Santa. Sort of like the Holy Trinity.”
“The Holy Rinitry?”
“Yes, the Holy Rinitry. Just like the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the real Santa is in all the Santas you see. And the real Santa hears through all their ears and he knows what you want for Christmas, right after you tell me, of course. That way I can put it in a letter. Just in case. That’s why I have this beard after all!”
“So, the Santases are real!”
“Yep, they’re real alright. So, what was that list again?”
The man is a genius! Such finesse, such a mastery of deflection- and what exquisite lies! The kids’ Christmas spirit was saved in an instant. More importantly, how can we possibly enforce good manners and behavior throughout the Christmas season (which according to most retail stores, now begins in September) without the threat of Santa hanging over their little heads? It can’t all be visions of sugar plums, after all. I myself am partial to the Dutch Santa who knocks the stuffing out of naughty children with a bunch of twigs, but with social services essentially on most children’s iPhone speed dial, that’s sadly yet another tradition lost…..
So, in this wonderful season of Advent, I wish you all faith in the unseen and love- much love!