Believing in Santa Claus
For as long as I could remember, I used to fantasize ardently about Santa Claus. I used to dream about Santa Claus and his eight reindeers, especially Rudolph, who was always my favorite. He was my favorite because he was different from all the other reindeers. He was my favorite because he was curious and mischievous. I loved how his bright red nose helped Santa navigate the skies in his big sleigh. It was just a great example of how being different could be the light that shines across someone’s path.
I also used to dream about Santa and his house in the North Pole. I would just sit for hours and hours imagining the extravagent house that he would have lived in with Mrs. Claus, the reindeers, and his elves. I imagined that he had a huge factory where the elves were hard at work on making the toys. In fact, I once I got a bicycle for Christmas. I always imagined that Santa had built it with his own two hands. I loved it that much more because I thought Santa had built it for me.
I loved getting to sit on Santa’s lap at the mall. Once, I wrote a list of things that I wanted — and I gave it to Santa. I was so proud because I figured he was going to make every one of those gifts with his beloved elves and then deliver them to me by sleigh. Of course, my house didn’t have a chimney so I was always confused as to how Santa got into the house. Every year, I would try to stay up late. I wanted to see how he came in. I wanted to meet Santa. I wanted to see him eat the cookies and milk that I would set out for him every night. But I always fell asleep. I was never able to stay up to meet Santa.
I just loved the idea of an old, fat man with a white beard, wearing red and white all day. I just loved the thought of him looking down at me, watching over me. To me, Santa always felt like a grandfather. I never had a grandfather, as both of mine passed away before I was born. So, the very idea that there could be a grandfather-like figure was simply marvelous to me.
It was so marvelous that I didn’t want to let Santa go.
Coming to Terms with the Truth
I think I believed in Santa far longer than my peers. There were signs lurking in my mind that perhaps Santa wasn’t real. Like how could Santa fly in his sleigh? How could he deliver so many presents to all of the kids in one night, even after accounting for the time differences? How could he get into the houses that didn’t have a chimney? There were just so many questions that I wanted to know the answer to, but at the same time, I was scared.
I was scared to admit that there was a possibility that maybe Santa wasn’t real. Maybe Santa was just a plot device in movies and books. Maybe Santa was something that all of the parents made up to get their kids to behave.
The older I got, the doubts kept getting bigger and bigger until I just couldn’t push them away. I couldn’t ignore them anymore, much as I wanted to. I wanted to keep believing in Santa. I wanted to believe that there was an old grandfather-like figure sitting in his home at the North Pole, watching over me. I wanted to believe it so much. That is why I believed in him for so long.
But eventually, there came a time when I told myself enough is enough. Santa doesn’t really exist. I remember then telling my mom that I didn’t think Santa existed. I can’t remember what she said. But I do remember that she basically confirmed it.
It was honestly one of the biggest disappointments of my life.
What Santa Gave Me
Santa was hands down one of the best things about my childhood. Santa was the grandfather that I never had. Santa was so smart, brave, kind, and selfless — all qualities that we should all emulate.
Even though I stopped believing in Santa, I still think about him. I don’t mind that I stopped believing in him. It was natural. It was part of the growing up process. As we grow, we start to think and formulate our own opinions about things. We start to question things.
But I’ve come to find that questioning things means that we start believing in things less. Believing in something is so wonderful. Sometimes we just want to believe because believing gives us hope and the strength to grow. When we believe, our entire world opens up with possibilities. To believe that something as magical as Santa exists gives us purpose to otherwise a mundane existence. It lets us know that we aren’t just here one moment and then gone the next. It lets us know that maybe there is a reason why we are here. Like, Santa, we just have to discover it.
So, the magic of Christmas is when people can believe. I don’t mean believe in Santa (although you can if you want). I mean to believe in yourself. Believe in the people around you. Believe in nature. Believe in the things that you see and even the things that you don’t see. Always believe. Because without beliefs, all the goodness of the world is lost.
It’s been a long time coming, but that is what Santa gave to me. He gave me a wonderful capacity to believe. Even though I don’t believe in Santa anymore, I believe in other things. I believe that if you hope for something long enough, then it can come true. I believe that good things happen to those who wait. I also believe that life is not forever cruel and that one day you will be rewarded beyond your wildest dreams. I believe that there is something amazing out there — we just have to find it.
Never be afraid to believe in the impossible. Never stop believing. Always keep the hope alive.