First and foremost, I AM FINISHED WITH GRAD SCHOOL … pending a passing grade on my final project.
I don’t know about your family, but traditions are a really big part of my family’s Christmas celebration. The holidays are never quite the holidays without them.
Every year, for example, my grandfather takes all of his granddaughters to the Nutcracker Ballet at the Warner Theater in DC. It’s become quite a tradition: fancy dresses, fancy snacks, and a limo to take us to and fro. The tradition is so specific that it goes all the way down to where we sit in the limo.
Christmas shopping for my mom with my dad and sister; shopping for the dogs with my sister; midnight mass; Christmas Eve at my dad’s parents’; Christmas day breakfast of French toast and then more celebrations at my mom’s parents’. It is all part of tradition.
Of course, when my sister and I were little, my mom made sure that Santa always came to visit us. It’s a tradition that many people practice. Unfortunately, the other day I read something that disheartened me. This person wrote that they would never put up a tree, give presents, return any type of holiday small talk, perpetuate the idea of Santa Claus or celebrate any part of the commercialism of Christmas. She said, basically, because Jesus was the reason for the season.
I can appreciate wanting to celebrate Jesus. I agree wholeheartedly with that. But, I also think that Santa Claus and the gift-giving thing can really add to one’s belief.
It takes a lot to believe in God. It takes a lot of faith. The rewards are often what we don’t want them to be and sometimes we just can’t understand why things happen to us. So many times things seem like punishments and they seem unfair, but you just have to keep believing. It’s really hard.
But, I think that Santa gives us the foundation to keep believing. Kids never see Santa – not the real one anyway. At a pretty young age I got curious about how Santa could be in so many malls and stores at once (’cause I’m smart like that). So my mother told me that Santa had his elves go out to the malls and fill in for him. And I believed her. No questions asked. Every year his presence (and presents) inspired me to do good, just like God’s presence (and presents) is supposed to do. I simply believed he was there. Once a year, little miracles were placed under the family Christmas tree. Enough to keep me believing for another year.
Little miracles are different when you get older. Sometimes they come more often and sometimes less often than once a year.
I still believe in Santa. He is generosity and selflessness.
I’m not trying to be preach-y, but I just needed to say that I don’t think anyone could plausibly say that Santa is the antithesis of Christmas.