Sunday, December 21, 2008

To Believe

I can't remember how old I was when I learned that Santa Claus didn't exist.

I don't remember if it was a tragic event. I cannot recall if I cried tears of disappointment or yelled at my parents for lying to me.

I'm sure it was a heartbreaking moment for me, as it is for many child in the world.

I struggled with the idea of Santa Claus and wondered if I should tell my daughter if he existed or didn't exist. I imagined telling her that he was just a myth and my daughter being the snot of the class and outing Santa Claus to her playmates, causing havoc and tears of the innocent.

I pictured telling her that Santa Claus existed and years down the road having a distraught child learning the truth and hating me until she was 18.

Upon discussing this with my husband, who never had the illusion of Santa Claus as a child and faith in anything along those lines, I questioned why should I lie to my daughter? He explained to me that his family never instilled any sort of belief in him, period. He brought me around by telling me that he wished his family had been more optimistic and instilled in him something greater than just existing. The lack of faith in believing in his childhood made me see that having my daughter believe in believing wouldn't be such a bad thing.

What would it hurt to have her have faith in a jolly man that spreads cheer and joy. Is it such a tragic thing to have her think that a man in a red suit brings presents to all the good little girls and boys in the world?

I'm hoping that Santa Claus will become more in her eyes than a belief. I'm hoping that Santa Claus will be an inspiration. I'm hoping that he won't be a symbol for material objects of joy, but will be an actual representation of joy that comes with giving.

When the day arrives she home from school red faced with disappointment and tears in her eyes, I will comfort her with the thoughts that, until otherwise, no one can prove that he doesn't exist.


Jennifer said...

I think you're doing the right thing!

Rebecca Jo said...

that tears at my heart... let little kids dream as long as they want...

tamara said...

I can't imagine a childhood without Santa. I bet your husband has more fun at Christmas (now)
than anyone else you know!