I have a confession to make. I’m one of those “not Christmas” people. I say happy holidays because I realize not everyone celebrates Christmas. To be completely honest, in many ways I loathe the entire season. The crowds, the traffic, the crabby frenetic atmosphere that pervades every trip outside of my home. The aura of demand and entitlement is pervasive and more than a little overwhelming. When approaching anything remotely resembling a mall I tend to whisper a small prayer under my breath, or perhaps it’s really a curse, I’m not sure. “By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.” Yeah, I know freaky right? I’m really just not a fan of what Christmas has become, the over commercialized, neon lighted, fake sparkle, animated angels, huge inflatable snowmen, stress riddled, greed laden “holiday” that we call Christmas.
I wasn’t always like this, for much of my life I adored Christmas. The finding of the perfect gift for friends and family. It was done throughout the year at sales, with lists of what had already been purchased stashed in my wallet. I hung copious quantities of tinsel, wore silly red hats to work, kept candy in a jar and walked around for a month or more with the ridiculous “I love Christmas” smile on my face. Friends and loved ones called me “Happy the Christmas Elf.”
I’m not sure what happened, but somewhere along the line I lost “Happy.” Now days I just try to muddle through. I still pay homage to the season, I send gifts and cards, I have fun and smile a lot but at times I do miss “Happy.” I rather feel like the Cindy Lu’s song from “Who the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Where are you Christmas
Why can’t I find you
Why have you gone away
Where is the laughter
You used to bring me
Why can’t I hear music play
Perhaps it’s just age. I mean really there comes an time when you lose some of your edge and I think I’ve reached that. Also finding the “perfect” gift for grown kids, 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren get’s nerve wracking. Those special perfect gifts have been replaced by checks, gift cards, and good ole cash. It saves time and precious energy but still somehow it feels like a cheat.
All of this maudlin feeling of loss aside, I’ve written many times about the power of belief. To quote Shepherd Book “I don’t care what you believe in, just believe it.” So for today, I will believe in the positive and good in Christmas. I will clear off some space and put up a decoration or two, I will listen to a Christmas album, I will light a candle in the darkness in celebration of the passing of solstice. Above all, I will choose to believe what Francis Church wrote over 100 years ago.
DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
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 childlike 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! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
I believe in Fairies and for today I will choose to believe in Santa once again. Clap loudly if you agree.
Til next time ~Peace ~JPP