To my doubting son:
Is there really a Santa Claus? I guess that all depends on how you look it at. I believe with all my heart and soul there truly is. I think of him more like a ghost or a spirit, like in the story the Christmas Carol. I think he is like Christmas past, present and future all in one.
I tell people that I hate the holidays. The reality is that I love them so much it breaks my heart to know that they come and then they end. It is sad to know that strangers have the potential of being so kind to one another, but only live up to that potential for a brief time each year. Remember that you have Christmas kindness and charity in your heart all year.
Always remember to enjoy the holidays. I mean this. Stop every year and absorb the smell, sights and sounds around you. You will treasure the memories especially as you get older. The memories are priceless and all of the money in the world couldn’t buy them. These are the gifts.
Santa is the magic of the way Christmas makes you feel. As you get older Christmas with be wrapped with memories and those memories are the true magic. You will remember the way the house smelled when cookies were baking. The way the tree looked lit up in the window of your childhood home. You will remember your Grandmother’s dinners and the way everyone laughed around the table. You’ll remember smells, songs and special people. 30 years from now you will remember only a handful of actual presents that you got for Christmas. You will remember the great gifts you gave people and the way it made you feel when they were pleased.
I know that you know Christmas is about Jesus’ birthday and that is the true meaning, but it is hard to remember that with all of the commercials and focus on Santa and the presents. I just want you to know what the most important presents really are. You and Megan give me the greatest gifts that I could ever get and you give them all year. You give me the gift of laughter, pride and purpose. Even to worry about you is a gift. It reminds me that I have very important responsibilities in my life and a wonderful reason to be here. There is nothing that could go under a tree as valuable as that.
Yes, there is a Santa. You are Santa, I am Santa, every person with a giving spirit is. It is that spirit that keeps the tradition alive year after year. You have a very mature responsibility not to spoil the idea of a jolly elf in a red-suit for younger kids. It is a brief and exciting time for little ones. You also have the huge responsibility of carrying on the tradition of giving.
It makes me a little sad that you don’t believe in the red-suited elf, but never doubt what Santa symbolizes. The magic is always in the giving, not the gift.