Saturday, December 3, 2011

Is Santa real?

Paige (age 7) has been asking me the age old question, 'Is Santa real?' I had been replying with variations of 'yes,' 'tell me why you are wondering?', and 'do you think he is real?' Finally, about a week ago, I told her: 'OK, daddy and I are the ones doing the presents. But it is Santa that represents the idea of giving and caring.' We talked about St. Nicholas and how he, Jesus, and God are what inspires the acts of Christmas. I just came across this letter on the site from Martha Brockenbrough of Marthabee that does a beautiful job of explaining this in a letter, much more eloquently (than I did on the fly in the car). Martha and her daughter regularly exchange letters - what a great idea! Here it is:

Dear Lucy,
Thank you for your letter. You asked a very good question: “Are you Santa?”
I know you’ve wanted the answer to this question for a long time, and I’ve had to give it careful thought to know just what to say.

The answer is no. I am not Santa. There is no one Santa.
I am the person who fills your stockings with presents, though. I also choose and wrap the presents under the tree, the same way my mom did for me, and the same way her mom did for her. (And yes, Daddy helps, too.)

I imagine you will someday do this for your children, and I know you will love seeing them run down the stairs on Christmas morning. You will love seeing them sit under the tree, their small faces lit with Christmas lights.

This won’t make you Santa, though.

Santa is bigger than any person, and his work has gone on longer than any of us have lived. What he does is simple, but it is powerful. He teaches children how to have belief in something they can’t see or touch.

It’s a big job, and it’s an important one. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your friends, in your talents and in your family. You’ll also need to believe in things you can’t measure or even hold in your hand. Here, I am talking about love, that great power that will light your life from the inside out, even during its darkest, coldest moments.

Santa is a teacher, and I have been his student, and now you know the secret of how he gets down all those chimneys on Christmas Eve: he has help from all the people whose hearts he’s filled with joy.

With full hearts, people like Daddy and me take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible.
So, no. I am not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. I’m on his team, and now you are, too.
I love you and I always will.


Hilary said...

Awh, I love that....

Crystal said...

I stuck with family tradition on this one and shared the magic of Santa with my children. My youngest figured out several years ago that Santa is really Mom. Now he insists on calling me Santa! Somehow this has rolled over to me representing Santa online at If you happen to stop by, feel free to leave your wish list. :)