Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Still Believe in Santa.

This post has nothing to do with running or Cliff Lee's triumpthant return to the Philadelphia Phillies.

I still believe in Santa. I own this fivilous belief and embrace it's absurbity. I love it and I love Santa. I see parents with carts full of toys and make myself think they're just for neices and nephews. Though it is one of my favorite traditions, my heart still breaks every Christmas Eve when my brother-in-law and dad get the kids' gifts out of hiding and lay them out by the tree. I refuse to help (too much) and won't eat the treats left out because those are for the reindeer. They are. I have anxiety about where the letters to Santa actually go when they get to the post office. I think my worst fear would be accidentally telling a child the devastating truth about Santa. I couldn't do that, and I don't like kids all that much.

Is it wrong to allow children to think that a man magically appears to every single household in the world and leaves them exactly what they asked for and does the same for everyone? It's no more wrong than making girls think they can only like pink and be pretty and boys have to like sports and never cry. When you consider the other tales and false truths we pump into our childrens' minds throughout their lives via actions or media, the hope and joy in reward seems quite reasonable.

The myth of Santa and his elves watching over us, seeing our good deeds and bad deeds is an interesting thought. As children, it made us behave. We listened to our parents especially during those final months of the year, we were nice. It was a tool to teach us morality and values. Right, wrong, nice, naughty. I find no harm in believing that if we're good all year, we will be rewarded. We do so much based on this single principle, hard work = reward and often this equation doesn't work out.

As adults, we know the truth about Santa; we also know so many other disappointing truths. Hard work is not always rewarded. Being good may not always get you what you want. Being bad won't either. When you ask kids what they want for Christmas, you get material responses, dolls, toys, books, electronic whatevs. Adults want the material things too but I think if you ask many grown ups, they'd all ask for an intangible. People want more money (need more), we ask for health, we ask for forgiveness. We ask for happiness. We ask for love. We ask for our children to be ok, for our lives to be better. For all those things that being good and working hard still sometimes can't deliver in the ways we want.

When I was a kid, I believed that not fighting with my siblings, listening to my parents, doing my homework, helping with my chores, being nice to others, not getting into trouble at school were all the things that Santa would consider "good."

I'm like somewhat of an adult now and my definition of good has completely changed. I stopped not listening to my mom years ago. It took me about 28 years to comprehend that my mom is always right and/or knows what to do. I don't fight with my siblings anymore because I kind of like them and my brother finally started letting me sit in the front seat in the car. I define good now by eating well, by sticking to a schedule, making good choices, by completing to-do lists, by paying bills. All of these things do have benefits and rewards. But rarely are they as fun as getting a freebie gift under a tree for no reason other than someone loves me enough to let me believe in a myth. You can't unwrap good credit and a done to-do list is not a great stocking stuffer.

For the next two weeks, I'm going eat super well and play nice with my coworkers and I won't yell at other drivers and I will try not to curse as much. Because I'm fully expecting/wishing/hoping that Santa brings me the Lost Series Set DVDs.

So yes, I still believe in Santa because I don't always have faith in everything else.


  1. My sisters still make me sit in the middle in the back seat. And you're right - you can't unwrap good credit!