Thursday, December 1, 2011

Yes Virginia

Do you believe?  
That is the question.

                                                                                                                 Source: via Barbara on Pinterest

It's that time of year again and the question always gets asked. "Mom, is Santa real?"  

When I was little, I don't every remember asking my parents if Santa was real.  But I remember the year I found out.  I was 13 and my best friend came over to tell me everything that was under the tree for her.  We both wanted these really cool items from Mattel.  I asked for the Thingmaker Fun Flowers and she asked for the Creepy Crawlers.  I wanted flowers and she wanted bugs.  It came with a small square heating oven and metal plates like you see below.  Tubes of colored goop came with them.  You would squeeze the colored goop into the design plates, put them in the square heating oven, using tongs, and the goop would turn into a rubber design. After they were all 'cooked', you'd take the plate out and put it into a tray of water to cool off.  One of the best parts was hearing the plate sizzle in the water and watch the steam rise into the air. Once the plates were cool you'd remove the rubber flowers and have tons of fun.  You'd adorn them with little rubber faces, smaller flowers, butterflies, leaves and small little bugs.  You'd do the same with the creepy crawlers, only they were really ugly bugs!

When my friend told me her big present was the Creepy Crawler maker, I was heartbroken.  I always got one big present, something special, something you'd never think you'd get.  You see, I didn't get the Fun Flower maker.  My mother saw the look on my face.  She then jumped up off the couch and said to me. "Oh, you stay right there, I have to run in the cellar to get something."  Upon her return, she held out a box, wrapped in Christmas paper and said to me, "Looks like I forgot to put this under the tree."  Low and behold, it was my Fun Flower maker.

Was I disappointed there was no Santa, no!  All I knew was my parents came through for me and I so appreciated it.  My mom tells me I never really asked for anything so when I did ask, she made sure she did her best to get it for me.

To me, that's what the magic of Christmas is all about.  Believing and hoping.  

My boys are now 13, the same age I was when I found out there was no Santa. Just the other day Michael asked me, "Mom, is there really a Santa?" I just looked at him and said, "Michael, there is if you believe in the magic of Christmas.  As long as there's love in your home, the excitement for the season, the hope of receiving that special gift on your list and how the magic of the ever popular Christmas movie makes you feel, it's okay to believe. And just so you know, the day you stop believing in the magic of Christmas, is the day Santa stops coming to this house!"  I told him if he didn't want to believe, keep it to himself, but don't ruin the magic for me and others around who enjoy this time of year.

I always get twisted when kids blab to others that there's no Santa.  I don't ever remember anyone in my school saying there was no Santa.  My boys went to parochial school until the 3rd grade.  While in 1st grade, a boy came up to them and told them there was no Santa.  When they came home and asked me about it, I looked at them and said, "It's okay if children do not believe in Santa.  I'm sure they don't get that special gift on their list either." I explained to the boys not everyone celebrates Christmas like we do, maybe there are children in school who's parents didn't have a good childhood and Santa wasn't good to them.  Seeing they were learning about God in school, I asked two questions every time they brought up the Santa question.

I'd ask them, "Have you ever seen God, other than the pictures in your bible?" they would answer no.  I'd ask them, "Do you believe Jesus is real?" and they would answer yes. I always told them, just because you didn't see something or someone for yourself, didn't mean they weren't real.  

My girlfriend sat her 4 kids down a few years back, ages 4 - 11 and told all of them Santa was not real.  I can't even imagine what it was like for her children.  I know why she did it and I was real twisted once she told me.  No more magic, no more wishing and hoping, no more putting cookies out for Santa, no more believing in the unbelievable.  I wonder what Christmas will be like for their children when the time comes.

All I know is this.  As long as I'm alive, the spirit of Santa will live within me, he will be part of my children's, as well as my grandchildren's lives, and he will represent what the Christmas season is all about.  Giving.  Giving your time, giving your heart, giving your love and giving hope to others.  For my family Christmas is about what you can give and not focus on what you want.

We all know the true meaning of Christmas, any Christian family does, but we can have the best of both worlds while we celebrate the wonderful gift of life.   

As Francis P. Church stated~
From the New York Sun, September 21, 1897.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no child-like faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies!

We need to Believe !


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