Letter from the Editor

“Mom, is Santa Claus real?”

So it happened. A few weeks ago, my inquisitive, analytical yet sensitive eight-year-old son posed the question, “Mom, is Santa Claus real?” Most parents dread this coming-of-age question but I didn’t. “Absolutely, I am a believer,” I told him with total confidence.

I was ready for it. Because often, I think back to when I was a child and was faced with the same life-altering question. If I answered, “No, I do not believe,” then what would happen to all the presents I was hoping to get? It might be that Santa was listening to me and would note by my name on his list: “No longer believes in me – no presents this year.”

So every year growing up, at some very early hour in the morning, my sister and I would sneak downstairs to see if Santa had stopped by. There it was – crumbs on the floor and an empty glass. Proof. How could anyone doubt his existence? If that wasn’t enough, right before my eyes was a tree flanked with beautifully wrapped presents. Quite remarkably, they were often the things on my list. He must have gotten – and read – the letter I sent to him weeks before. More proof!

I guess the doubters could argue that no man can live at the North Pole where temperatures in the winter hover around -30 degrees Fahrenheit. And the chances are slim, that a man would be able to enter homes without being attacked by angry dogs, burnt in a fireplace or given away by a security alarm.

But before the existence of Santa can be completely debunked, there is something much greater to be considered. After all, isn’t Santa’s legacy about more than waking up and finding presents under the tree? To me, there is profound truth in Santa Claus. He is a story of love, of giving, of the preciousness of children and the innocence of youth.

I don’t need him to be literally true to believe in him. The selfless Santa spirit is valuable and real to me. It points at a deeper truth, one that can’t be measured or observed with science equations or thermometers. It shines through everyday when we see neighbors, friends and family and even strangers helping each other in times of need. It stands for kindness and generosity, and those things are alive and will continue to be alive – as long as we believe in them.

But how do I explain that to my son who was looking for answers? I can’t, not right now. He’ll grow to discover it on his own. So I simply tell him that I have no doubt – with all my heart – Santa is real. He thinks for a while and then, with authority and total commitment, says, “You’re right mom…of course Santa is real. What would the elves do all year long if there were no Santa?”

May you – whatever you believe – have a truly magical holiday season.

Amy Hines – Editor

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