Thursday, March 27, 2014

Another Maturity Gateway Gone

Hey Kids, time to take a hike again. Not even bad words this time, just some boring grown up stuff.
Click here to read about Disney stuff or go just about anywhere else on the blog for entertaining ridiculousness.

Yes Anabelle, There Is a Santa Claus

Hey kiddo,

We knew this day had to come soon; you’re too good at logically figuring things out.

I blame the school enforcing the idea of setting up “Leprechaun Traps.” 

Belief in a Trans-dimensional Chubby Guy of Winter, a Candy Dispensing Hare, and a Pixie with a Dental Fetish is one thing, but you’ve got far too much Italian and Peruvian blood for the acceptance of an Irish Imp to every fully take hold.  Once one pillar of the belief system fell, the rest were inevitable.

You've read the Virginia letter (plus variations) and seen the cartoon based on it.  Honestly I kinda figured this might have been the last hurrah when you didn't want to watch it this year.

Still, I’d like to give you my perspective on the idea.

While holiday occurrences are not as previously described to you, the question:

“Is Santa Real?”

Can still be answered with an honest, “Yes.”

From a certain point of view, to get all Obi Wan about it.

Santa Claus is that feeling, that warm glow, that internal magic that comes with Christmas.

To borrow from your class lessons in figurative language, Santa Claus is the personification of all that’s wonderful and loved about Christmas, but it goes beyond that.

He’s the reason there’s an extra smile and spring in your step when you see the decorations on display in the mall for the first time…even in August.

He’s the reason Mami made extra sure that there was separate wrapping paper and handwriting on the two sets of presents opened Christmas Morning; after she stayed up most of the night filling in all the information and uploading photos for Santa’s video and combing the internet for the picture you asked him for with his wife, the elves the workshop AND the fully decked out sleigh.

He’s the reason that Daddy, after making sure to leave just the right amount of cookie crumbs on the table, went outside in sub-zero temperatures at Five AM with extra-long gardening and cleaning tools to insure: not only did the carrots look eaten, but also that the lawn had the snow cleared away around the empty and chewed bowl without leaving any human footprints or evidence that the carrots had been reached by anything other than flying reindeer.

No normal (or sane, perhaps) person would go to these lengths if there wasn’t an element of truth in magic behind them.  They stem from that magic of Santa Claus being alive inside us.

Honestly, with the drive to secularize the celebrations for fear of offending ANYONE, I often think we should all agree to move the “Baby Jesus Birthday Bash” holiday to a later date, like the orthodox churches do, and observe it then with proper reverence and piousocity.  This would allow EVERYONE to celebrate and take pleasure from the good feelings, friendly and festive atmosphere, and general joy that are connected with the Santa part of Christmas. 

And the music could go back to being good instead of sanitized to the point of boringness.

Santa Claus doesn’t strike me as the type who discriminates based on religious affiliation.
In fact, Santa’s requirements pretty much distil the important part of most religions, which often gets overwhelmed by dogma and rules.

Santa doesn’t care which ornately archaic building you visit on weekends.
Santa doesn’t impose a dress code or hairstyle requirements.
Santa doesn’t insist on inexplicable dietary constraints.

Santa’s main rule sums up the required actions, motivations, and interpersonal attitudes that are the best part of what religion is supposed to bring out of people. 

The driving force, as it should be, is the emotional rewards of the positives, not the guilt of the negatives.

“Be good for goodness sake.”

The realness of Santa is what you experience at the best parts of Christmas. 

The feeling of peaceful contentment and togetherness sitting and looking at the Christmas tree.
The feeling of hopefulness about good things the future will bring.
The feeling of joy in giving to others.

That’s the real Santa Claus who inspires all the magical bits of the season from within.

I’ve seen you delight in picking out the perfect Christmas present and watching someone open it. 

Now that you’re growing up, you’ll learn to appreciate that even more.  By keeping the stories and traditions alive, you’ll get to be an even bigger part of the real Santa Claus.  At first this is for your younger cousins and friends, eventually it will be for your own family.

I know how heartbreaking it is to learn that “Santa Claus” wasn’t specifically what you thought.

But I never want you to think of him as not real, because he’s that glow in us that makes Christmas extra special.

My final wishes for you as you pass this milestone growing up.

May you keep finding joy visiting The Subordinate Claus in Santaland - in the same way you find joy in meeting Disney Characters, as living representations of something wonderful, fun and alive in your heart and mind.

May you always hear the bell from the Polar Express, as a symbol that all the fanciful and delightful parts of Christmas continue to be real for you.

May you have a new, deeper and more mature understanding of why my favorite Christmas Song has always been “I Believe in Santa Claus” from Year Without a Santa Claus.

"So you're too old for Santa Claus"?
He said with a smile
"Then you're too old for all the things
That make a life worth while
For what is happiness but dreams
And do they all come true
Look at me and tell me, [dear]
What is real to you?"
 “Just Believe in Santa Claus, Like You Believe in Love.”

All my love, and hopes of happiness and dreams coming true,



Grandma said...

Dearest Anabelle, I'm proud to say your Father got this exactly right. I believe in Santa Clause. I know you will take this advice and be just like Daddy & I. I know that Santa's Magic will never disappear, as long as you keep him in your heart and stay the wonderful girl you are. And I know you will. All my Love, Grandma


Believing in the spirit of Christmas brings Santa back every year:) He can never go away...There's too much work to be done! :)

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx Renae, my sentiments exactly.
I'm certainly not crazy enough to do all that on my own.

Tracey said...

This made me tear up a bit. I fear when my kids will question Santa. Sam already tells me that some of the Disney characters are "just people dressed up in costumes."

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx for sharing. The hopeful spot I cling to is going back to a Denver Aquarium visit. Afterwards a freind's daughter asked her if the mermaids she was talking about were real. Her answer, "No, I don't think so...but I like to pretend they are."

My family likes to walk that line between whimsical and crazy.

Anonymous said...

Well Done. Beautifully said.

My dad had the glow and the spirit of Christmas, and believed in the Magic of Santa till the end. I still do!!

Cousin Maddalena

Jeff McGinley said...

Many thanx, much appreciated.

I know all about your Dad and Christmas, we keep three of his decorations hanging in the kitchen doorway year round to remind us of the spirit.

Ruth said...

Nicely said!

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx, Ruth!