“Dear Santa, how are you? Please send me a ring and three candy bars this year. Thank you.” The note is folded and kept near the window in all solemnity. Not for a moment does she doubt the existence of the benevolent grandpa in the red suit and cap.
The smirk on her brother’s face is evident as he chooses to ignore the warning signal in my eyes, “You think Santa will go to all houses across the world in one night?”
My heart skips a beat and I pray, “Please, let her not be logical, for once.” I start ruing the loss of innocence as she replies, logical as always, “Yeah, I know.” A smile starts spreading across my face as she continues, “That’s why he sends these notes to the parents. If he is busy, they will get it for us.”
Watching our son, who everyone says is mature beyond his years, I now wonder whether we should have been so truthful. The Santa myth was broken when he was nine and we were the culprits. Some people ask whether we are fooling our kids by perpetuating this myth. Wouldn’t they feel let down when they know the truth, they ask. Why do you even need something that is so western in concept, is the next question.
A cheerful, benevolent grandfather with an ample lap for the little ones to sit comfortably, long snowy beard that they can pull, coming once a year from a magical land far away, a house that is filled with elves who work all year through to bring you the gifts that you ask for, a sleigh that seem to be made out of your dreams and the mystical reindeers pulling it at lightning speed – if this is not magic, what is? Santa Claus is the ultimate kid’s dream, if you ask me. Someone who doesn’t say a no to even any far-fetched thing you might ask for, the only condition is you have to be good through the year. What a relief in a world of adults who don’t even have time to listen to them.
Who exactly is this Santa Claus? The most prominent belief is that the grand old man’s original ancestor is St. Nicholas, a Greek bishop who lived in the third and fourth centuries. There are two stories associated with Nicholas, the bishop, turning into a ‘patron for children and magical gift bringer.’ The first and the most popular story say he saved three young girls from turning into prostitution delivering three bags of gold to their debt ridden father. The second story, which is not so well known, is how he resurrects three young boys who were murdered and picked by an innkeeper.
In a world where children are forced to grow up much before they actually need to, where they are taught directly or directly to look at ‘what is in it for me,’ when friendships are formed based on caste, creed and societal status, we need a Santa figure more than ever – to remind us of the good around, to protect us from the bad guys and to make us believe in the magic of making others happy. For that is the true spirit of Christmas – to do good, to be good and to help others without expecting anything in return. And that is exactly what Santa does. All he wants is a letter, all you need to do is ask.
So, along with our kids, let us also ask for good things for our friends, family and the whole world. For joy, peace and happiness. For magic that never ends and for stardust to fall on each of us. And let that magic remain in our hearts forever!
A Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to all of you! Stay Blessed!
Bindu Manoj dabbles in numbers for a living, dreaming of words all the while. A mother of two, wife to one, sister to four and friend to many, she hoards books by the score. An arm chair traveler who does some real life off roading now and then, she prefers the moves and shakes of jeeps and trucks to the cushy comfort of normal vehicles. Her wandering soul muses at http://ruminateatleisure.wordpress.com/ and she reminiscence her reads at http://wanderlustathome.wordpress.com/