About Believers….

I believed in Santa Claus for an absurdly long time – I was a true believer.  I believed in spite of the fact that my younger cousin used to tell me that Santa Claus wasn’t real, but that’s the thing about believers, they have blind faith, they aren’t looking for proof or statistics, they’re going with their gut.

So imagine the kick in the gut that I felt on the day I found out that Santa wasn’t real.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  For some reason, for the first time I had the need to sit down and seriously ask my mother if Santa Claus was real…I think I was eight or nine.  My mother was packing up Christmas decorations and I just walked up to her and said “is Santa Claus real?” to which she replied, “No sweetheart, he’s not.”  I cried (more like sobbed) for a while.  I was genuinely hurt, but to my mother’s credit, it was time for me to know the truth :-).

There was magic in believing in Santa Claus – yes the gifts played a large role, but believing was more so about an age of true innocence; not knowing the impossibility of a mythic figure that could visit every household in one night; not knowing the real sorrow that was in the world – that some families would go without gifts…there was innocence in believing that all was right with the world, as they say ignorance is bliss.

DS Download:  I wanted to believe in Santa so badly.  I wasn’t one of those kids that snuck around and looked for gifts, I just went along with the whole dog and pony show, and I’m so glad that I did.  My memory of how strongly I believed in Santa Claus is what makes the season so special to me now – Christmas music (especially Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song), snow, a fireplace, a Christmas tree – all take me back to a time when I believed in magic.

Although the child like belief in Christmas is long gone, the fundamental belief will never go away.  A jolly old man might not visit every family, but when a person takes the time to donate a toy or a piece of clothing to a charity, a family reaches out to an estranged loved one, or a stranger’s random act of kindness puts a smile on a lonely person’s face…these are the tiny miracles of the Christmas season, it’s what Christmas is really all about. 

– Here’s to Believers and enjoying the Christmas season.  Hopefully we’ll all find something to do during this special season that might put a smile on someone else’s face.

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One thought on “About Believers….

  1. I remember how I found out Santa wasn’t real. Like you, I was true believer. And like you, I remember the day like it actually WAS today. I had to discover the truth under much more concussive, even inappropriate terms. My BABYSITTER told me. It was in Kindergarten, and I was picked up by the sitter of a good friend of mine who lived down the street. She told my friend and I the truth, and it was a shattering reality. However, unlike you, I felt no sadness. My emotions were filled with entirely too much anger and disgust over the fact that I’d been lied to all those years. Christmas was a day I thought about all year. It was a season that held and extraordinarily powerful impression of good, giving and love on my youth and childhood. Santa Claus truly was a central and motivating factor in my generally good behavior throughout the year. His appraisal of my character held equal sway in my behavior as the Catholic school teachers and nuns that I credit with much of personal development and maturation today. Santa was an important figure in my life. So when my parents told me that if I didn’t get into bed on time Christmas Eve night that not only would I not getting any presents the next morning, but that Santa would pour acidic ashes in my eyes, I made sure I was in bed by 9pm sharp and not a second after! Then next morning I was completely infuated, not so much with the presents, but by the sight of cookie crumbs and an empty glass of milk that I believed Santa had left, evidence of his appreciation of the snack I’d left for him. You know…the snack he was going to be so hungry for after such a long night of carrying a sack of toys of immeasurable weight!

    To discover that none of it was true left me with an angry rift in my sense of reality. I’d felf like such a fool. I was infuriated with my parents and told them so. What made it worse were my Dad’s futile attempts to get me to believe that it was the sitter who was lying and not them. It was over. But the impression Santa left on me of the Christmas season was never to be altogether altered or diminished, and it still lives on today.

    Obviously, I don’t regret the discovery of the truth. It had to come at some point. But while I definitely plan to share the same tale of an overweight bearded man flying the skies of the world led by inspring red nosed reindeer, named Rudolph, I hope the world is decent enough to give my wife and I the chance to be the one to break the news them.

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