The Spirit of Santa

I woke to a dusting of snow, cold and dark. I like snow, I like the crispness of the air and usually I like the holiday season. When I reached adulthood it became a (more) meaningful time, in part due to my children, but mostly because of the symbolism of what this time of year means (other than a religious holiday). Even as my children grew the magic of the holiday seemed so real for me with them around. I didn’t spend an extravagant amount of money on them by any means, and I usually made gifts for them given by me, but I instilled (or hope I did) that Christmas was about family, love, spending time together, the beauty around them, and the magic of the season. I wanted to impress upon them that being together and connecting to each other was important, and wasn’t about what was bought.

When my children were young, I created as much realism around the spirit of Santa to keep hope, innocents, and magic alive in them. By creating the belief in myself for who Santa was; a magical persons who loved children and would make obscure dreams come true; (for as long as I possible could), I allowed them to believe in dreams and infinite possibilities. I used different wrapping paper, wrote in a different handwriting, used Santa stationary to leave personalized notes, and everyone (especially my older children), knew and followed my saying, “Those that believe in Santa get gifts.” My older children who knew Santa wasn’t a real person but a feeling, always imply Santa was the only one who gave gifts they just dreamt about and were convincing, they knew it was about the magic of the holiday and the innocents of being a child.

When I was eight my hope that someone had my back and would look out for me, Santa, was taken away as well as my innocences in our world. I couldn’t grapple with the notion there was no one looking out for me who unconditionally loved me and wanted me to be happy, I was utterly destroyed when I found out. I cried and really mourned my loss, (for many years), it hurt deeply as if a cataclysmic gorge had opened in me. I painfully knew no one would come and save me from my life and love me. I never wanted to take that gift in believing in magic and the altruism of what Santa stood for away from my children, especially because I wanted them to know how much I loved them and that the world was a good place.

There is something about the purity of a child and their innocents that lends to the power in believing in the magic of Santa even as an adult, and having a deep connection with possibility. The possibility of not just Santa and his magic, but what we create as individuals when we have the ability to believe what feels impossible can be possible. There is so much in life that we need to just believe can happen and be possible including where we can go in life. When you believe in the possibility you see the world as a positive and happy place, you see the good and potential. Just by believing in the possibility of something being possible, well, it can be a catalyst to motivate you to try and ultimately succeed.

By allowing my children to believe in the innocents of Santa and his magic and what he stood for, I’d like to think it gave them the courage and strength to carve out a path for themselves in ways I never had. That soft warmth of love just because, is such an amazing feeling. I can still recall the inhospitable feelings of apprehension and uncertainty I felt when I was a child, even at the holiday season and how fearful I was of being myself. I think in many ways I see that Christmastime should be about being allowed to just be, be yourself, be wanted, be needed, be loved, be happy, and yes it should carry over the entire year. When I had kids, I impressed upon them good feelings of what Christmas and life should mean because they deserve every happiness and joy. To me family and my children have always been and will be the cornerstone of my existence.

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