Why Every Kid Should Believe in Santa Claus

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Natalie Young

More stories from Natalie Young

I Bid Thee Farewell
July 18, 2016
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October 6, 2014
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October 4, 2014
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April 25, 2014
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Why Every Kid Should Believe in Santa Claus

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The soft jingle of bells were all that could wake me the night before Christmas.

Normally, I wouldn’t risk opening my eyes so late on Christmas Eve, because every four year old kid knows Santa sees you when you’re sleeping, and he knows when you’re awake, but the jingling bells were too inviting. “It could be Santa parking his sleigh,” my wild imagination thought.

I peeked out from under my covers, and couldn’t believe my eyes. Through the haze of my sleepy gaze, I beheld a man in a red suit, just standing there under my doorway.

“Merry Christmas, Natalie!,” the jolly man proclaimed, and before I could wipe my eyes, or pinch myself, Santa Claus was gone.

The best I could do then was sink back into my pillow, a huge smile on my face, and whisper “wow.” I couldn’t believe it, but I knew it had happened– I caught Santa bidding me farewell before he took off to some other place around the world. I reluctantly drifted back into a deep and eager sleep, replaying the grand sighting over and over in my head, each time with a different outcome– getting up to meet Santa, or being invited to go up in his sleigh for a while to discover the wonders of his profession.

***

When my dad told me a couple weeks ago it was actually just him in a Santa costume I saw under my doorway when I was four, I was devastated, though I can’t come up with a rational reason for a 17 year old to be so surprised and disappointed by the news– the news that the Santa Claus who paid me a visit as a kid wasn’t the magical, jolly character I had imagined and vehemently believed in as a child.

I was the great story-teller come each Christmas season, around my elementary school. Without knowing it, my dad had given me something a lot of kids my age were already starting to give up– belief. Belief in something innocent and childish, something that challenges your imagination to create a world where Santa Claus can be real.

When I think back to the Christmases when I believed in Santa Claus, everything was so much more exciting. Polite letters were written to the North Pole, stockings were hung, cookies were baked and set out on a tray with milk the night before, we had to get to bed on time and stay asleep or else he wouldn’t come, and in the morning, presents under the tree and in the stockings meant Santa had visited at night to put them there. Family traditions were formed around his legend.

Some people believe Santa has become an idol in the Christmas season and kids should be discouraged from believing in him, since “we need to keep the ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas’,” but I don’t believe letting your child believe in Santa Claus will do any damage. In fact, it may be even more beneficial to the enjoyment of their holidays and the growth of their imagination for them to believe. Don’t get me wrong, I do fear Christmas is veering into dangerously materialistic waters, but I don’t believe Santa Claus is the cause of all that is evil. He is the secular representation of St. Nicholas, as a matter of fact.

Everything Santa does in a kid’s eye (except, maybe, sneaking into people’s homes under the cover of darkness) represents something selfless. The greatest being that he gives gifts to children expecting nothing in return. In a parent’s eye, when they have to play the role of Santa, they often miss out on giving their kid the number one thing on his/her wishlist and never get to take credit for the kid’s excitement. That, and they miss out on some sleep if they decide to dress up as Santa to give their child a glimpse of the greatness that is Santa Claus.

 

 

 

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