Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Believe In Santa Claus

Why does everyone claim that Christmas is too commercial?  That it is loaded with pressures and expectations and we could be better off without it?
Because they see credit card debt, and greed and stress.

Setting aside any religious ties to the holiday - I'm not about to tangle with those beliefs - there is so much good to be found during Christmas. Sure, we should be kind and caring and helpful all year. Of course, we should make time for family and friends, year round.  But it just doesn't always work that way.

What about the magic of it all? Is it not a good thing for children to believe in Santa? To believe in something bigger than themselves or their parents?  It doesn't necessarily create greed, unless of course the parents pave the way for that expectation.  Santa doesn't always bring 'exactly' what you want.  
Santa KNOWS, you know, just what you need.

In the words of one very smart boy, 
"How stupid is that?  Why would parents go buy presents for their kids and give someone else the credit?"  
This is a VERY accurate statement.  How self-less is a parent who refuses credit for possibly the best gift of the year?  Why would you give that glory away to a stranger who sneaks into your house on Christmas eve?  
They wouldn't!
Santa exists, you see. Santa KNOWS.  He knows what your parents are capable of giving and gives them a helping hand.

Hmmm... It's all about the spirit of giving, right? Santa has that spirit. In fact, Santa fully embodies the spirit of giving self-lessly.  He doesn't send your kids a letter in November saying "I want chocolate milk this year. Oh, and can you leave those marshmallow squares again, by time I get to your house I've had 35 763 cookies already and need a break."
Santa gives because we believe.  

We believe in the spirit of the season, where giving anonymously is not just accepted but encouraged.  Give because you have.... and one day, when you find you are in need, you just might receive also.

Sure there may be times when the only gifts under the tree are from Santa, maybe the family just doesn't have enough to make ends meet.  Or years where the gifts from Santa come a bit early in a black bag on your doorstep instead of down the chimney....And so, again in the words of my dear boy 
"Santa is especially important to poor families."  
Shouldn't all those who are suffering have reason to believe that miracles can happen?  Shouldn't every one have faith that things can and will get better?  We all have the right to believe in something more than just the here and now.
For the families who feel pressured to hit the high marks for the holidays... 
you need to let it go!! 
It should be more important to spend an afternoon baking with your kids and giving special treats to your friends and family instead of gifts.  We should not compete or feel obligated to buy, buy, buy.
Big companies monopolize on Christmas because of the weakest of us. Some people will always need to be the 'best.'  Some people buy to maintain their appearances, to puff themselves up with pride.  And others, like a very good friend of mine says 
"I give because I want to. I give because I can.  I do not give, just so that you will give back."
So turn off the TV, stop watching those commercials. Make memories, not debts. 
Christmas is important.  
If for no other reason than to remind us all to look at what is really important.  Face it, life these days is very busy. BUT, in December we MAKE time to be with those we care about.  Why?  Because it's Christmas.  If the world started focusing on "spend time with family day" on, say, July 12th.... would we still debate the motivations?  What if there just wasn't a holiday for this?  Would we still find ways to MAKE time?  Or would these memories just get lost in the shuffle of daily living?
Santa is important.
He shares the real spirit of giving.  He gives and gets out.  He doesn't stick around because he is worried about what your kids will think of their presents.  He doesn't hang out because he wants to be thanked....
He leaves, and doesn't expect anything.  Giving is inside us all.  Give and get out.  Do not wait to be thanked... Do not wait to be noticed. Give because you want to, because you CAN.

And leave it at that.

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