This time of year always brings up festive feelings. Most people make an effort to spread a little more joy, open up their hearts and sometimes wallets to contribute to the well being of another.
I am reminded of this anytime I read a story of an exceptional mall Santa that made an extra effort to comfort a crying child, relate to another that may be experiencing personal difficulty, or just made the visit an extra special experience. I have no doubt these types of stories and the individuals behind them aren’t new, but their stories spread much faster thanks to social media.
I personally love to see the pictures of “Santa” playing on the floor with a little boy with autism, snuggled up to another who fell asleep after a seizure, or sprawled out on his chair to create a precious moment with a sleeping infant. There are many more I could mention. With all of these unique, heart warming stories and photos floating around, does one really have to ask if Santa exists?
It is a question that inevitably comes with age in children. It’s a question posed in newspaper articles and depicted in movies. It seems a trivial question that begs a meaningful answer. I decided to give this question a go myself as Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I am a Christian so it holds an additional meaning for me but I want to focus on just Santa here and the question, “Does Santa exist?”
For those of us who choose to urge our children to believe in Santa, we know there will be a day when they will question his existence. My oldest is eight and I have been thinking of how I want him to think of Santa and how I’d like him to see this important figure of childhood.
Santa is typically depicted as a person but I think he’s no person at all, but rather an action. Santa is a verb. A verb best defined for this illustration is this: “….a word used to describe an action….” Santa is goodwill in action. Santa is not simply confined by the traditional definition of a man who delivers gifts to children one day a year. No, he’s much more. He is the actions of all those who make the Christmas season so joyful.
It doesn’t matter if you believe in the Christian story of the birth of Christ on Christmas to spread the joy found this time of year. The generosity of spirit moves in people of various religions and backgrounds. Santa is the action in which one good hearted individual walks into a store and pays off the layaway accounts belonging to complete strangers. He is the action of people who volunteer time away from family during the holidays to provide food and shelter for the less fortunate. Santa is the stir in the hearts of many to give for the sake of giving.
Santa doesn’t move one night a year, he is in action all around us. Under the aprons, suits, pajamas, and various other typical pieces of clothing, we can find many red suits with white trim. One doesn’t have to be of any certain age to wear the persona of Santa. No one is too old or too young, too rich or to poor to spread the joy embodied in a very real figure who can be defined by the generous spirit of human nature.
Never stop believing in Santa. People will say he doesn’t exist, but Santa does exist just as much as the stir within the hearts of good and generous people who want to act on the behalf of Santa. It’s exciting to come to the realization that Santa is no longer just an individual but an action available to all.