When the Powerball jackpot soared recently, the hot topic was what people would do with all that money. My immediate thought was to open a toy factory. It would specialize in wooden toys to foster creativity and imagination in children. Of course, I would want every child in the world to have at least one of these toys and since I would have so much money, I would give them away! Sound familiar? The only difference is that my red suit would be an Herve Leger bandage dress.
For our family, Christmas isn’t a religious Holiday. It is a celebration of family and the joys of parties, music, and decor. Santa is iconic for us because the legend is truly a beautiful story. As a child, it wasn’t easy for me to believe in Santa Claus because we traveled to Florida every year and stayed at my Grandmother’s chimney-less home. Through the years, mixed messages and financial hardship in my youth hardened my soul against the Holiday. Some people advocated that Jesus was the reason for the season and that religion should prevail above all other parts. Others lavished luxurious gifts on their children and fostered jealousy and materialism. Many people didn’t celebrate Christmas at all, which caused confusion for seasonal salutations.
As a teen, I was trained not to wish others “Merry Christmas” at work and had few opportunities to explore the wonderful aspects of giving. It’s no wonder that I found myself becoming grinchier and grinchier each year. My poor husband was in shock the first time I poo-pooed some of his Holiday spirit. But, just like Max (the Grinch’s dog), he plugged right along trying to foster yuletide joy in my life until my heart finally expanded three sizes at Hannah’s first Christmas.
I finally get it!! The tradition of Santa Claus isn’t about getting toys. It’s about one person giving to everyone. One of the first lessons we teach our children is a simple game of sharing. Ask a one year old to give you a toy and they will enjoy the exchange so much that they’ll repeat the task over and over. The joy that we get from giving is ingrained in our nature. The reason Santa gives to children is not to bring a toy to a deserving child, but rather to teach the act of giving. If every child grew up determined to become Santa Claus, imagine how spirits would soar.
The people in my life who have generously donated time, money, and gifts to others are the happiest people I know. They are my inspiration to share joy with others and the examples for how to raise my children. I would love to be Santa. The excitement that I get from my small contributions to children could easily fuel a lifetime of happiness through giving.
This year, I am only Santa Claus for two very young girls, but I am determined to one day bring hope to as many members of their generation as I can reach. I believe in Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas because I see the joy of the season through a child’s eyes. What else, but magic, could transform our world into such a beautiful wonderland?