If you are familiar with “The Polar Express” this post will make sense. If you’re not familiar with it, stop. Go to your nearest bookstore, download it for your reader, anything. Get familiar with it. It’s my favorite Christmas story.
Anyway, I taught 4th grade for 6 years and everytime around this year I would read this story to them. Inevitably, I would get asked “Is Santa real”? I would usually pose the question back to them. But there were always some who couldn’t hear that bell ring any longer. Though it saddened me greatly, I knew better than to try to convince them otherwise. That would be my cue to explain my meaning of the Jolly Old Elf.
To me, Santa is the magic of Christmas. He’s the giving, the excitement, the joy and happiness, the anticipation and the wonder. Giving gifts shows we care and want someone, other than ourselves, to be happy. That inherently makes us happy, too. Ever see a kid, young or old, on Christmas morning? Exactly. I’m like my two kids, giddy, overflowing with excitement, barely able to contain it all. That is the work of Santa. He is the colorful lights, the wrapping paper patiently waiting to be shredded, the joy of the Christmas tree and all the decorations that go with it. Santa is the magic.
My kids know (or at least believe) that once you no longer believe in Santa, you no longer get any presents. I’m pretty sure that’s a risk they’ll never be willing to take. Heck, I’m still waiting for my train to take me to the North Pole so Santa can give me the first gift of Christmas so I can ask for one of his reindeer’s bells. Yes, the bell still rings for me. If it doesn’t ring for you, find a kid and you’ll be garunteed to hear that bell soon enough.
May Santa bring you good health and good cheer this holiday season.