Does Santa Claus Exist?
By Priyangwada Perera Ceylon Today Features
“Dad, isn’t Santa Claus real? He has to be real because I never woke up on a Christmas morning without a parcel of gifts from Santa Claus,” Kevin was talking to his father. “If that is so, then what is the problem?” his father asked in response. “Some of my friends do not get gifts from Santa Claus.
They keep telling me ‘Oh no, there is no Santa Claus. It is just your parents keeping gifts for you’”, Kevin paused, “But I argue with them. I say my parents give me gifts separately to Santa’s. Plus, my parents don’t even know what I wish for, unless I say it out loud. Yet, Santa almost always has brought exactly what I wanted or what was most useful to me,” he explained to his dad. “However, I do not think my friends cared or believed.”
It was at this point Kevin’s mother walked in and joined the conversation. “Santa exists if you believe in him. When you no longer believe in Santa Claus, he will not come. He cannot exist if you do not believe, can he?” she asked. Kevin was quick to reply.
“I always believed in Santa. I still do. In fact my two pen pals from Finland have sent me photographs from the actual village or the official hometown of Santa Claus, known as Rovaniemi, in Lapland, Finland. The snow covered village in the arctic circle kept me believing all the more.
But the thing is Mom, as much as I believe in magic and Santa, sometimes, convincing someone that it is a cute fat old man who comes from Lapland on a reindeer sleigh with gifts for all children, does sound a bit unbelievable, even though I know Santa does come. I am called a fool for believing in that,” Kevin exclaimed with a sense of great dilemma.
His parents knew how troubled he was. They also knew it was high time they explained the true meaning of Santa Claus. “Believing in Santa Claus is not about fooling anyone,” Kevin’s Mom began explaining. “Do you know the bigger message behind Santa’s gifts?
Some children may think if they don’t believe in Santa Claus they will seem all grown up and mature. They may think Santa is some stupid little make-believe-idea created for children. Therefore, they think rejecting Santa Claus makes them an ‘adult’ or a ‘grown up’ but that is not the truth, Kevin. Even if the real Santa in Finland cannot come to you in a sleigh, gifts reach you. You do not know Santa Claus, but he still brings you gifts. Similarly, in life, we are gifted so many things.
It is not just on Christmas that we get gifts. Every single day we get gifts,” Mom explained in the hope of making her little Kevin understand what Christmas spirit is all about. Kevin listened to his mom for a bit before he exclaimed, ”I don’t get gifts every day!” His mother smiled. “
You don’t get gifts which are parceled. But otherwise, we get gifts every day,” she said. Confused little Kevin looked at her in disbelief. His Dad also joined in the conversation. “Santa Claus is not just a person. Not that fat, old, jolly bearded man.
It is easy for kids to picture him that way. It explains the concept. It may be your Mom or myself who has bought you all the gifts over the years...,” and before he could finish the sentence Kevin shouted, “Really? Oh...but why, why did you not say so? Why give the credit to Santa Claus? The ‘thank you’ always went to Santa,” he asked wondering why his parents would let Santa take the credit for their efforts.
His Dad hugged the boy. “No, Kevin. There was no need to tell you if he was real or not. I saw how delighted you were, waking up each Christmas morning to find your gifts under the tree, it was our happy ritual. Mom and I saw how thrilled you were with your gifts. That was enough for us. Your happiness was all what we wanted. We did not have to say, ‘hey, it was us who bought it.’ We were already happy because you were happy,” Dad said.
Mom also came and sat near them and added, “You see, Kevin, Santa Claus is all about ‘selflessly giving’. Even though we teach you to be thankful to Santa, Santa Claus does not expect thanks or acknowledgement in return. That is why he comes in secret, while you are asleep. All Santa has in return is the joy of gifting people and not in receiving anything back,” she said as Kevin absorbed this new information in awed silence.
As the depth of this struck Kevin, he asked the crucial question, “So, what is my part in receiving such a gift, where the giver is so selfless that he does not want to be acknowledged or recognised as the person who gifted me?”
“Oh I am so happy that you asked it. Yes, Kevin. What we can do in return is to pass it on. To be a nameless giver. To be someone who gift others without expecting any thanks or acknowledgement in return.” Kevin listened to what his Dad was saying. “You can help a needy friend.
You can save your pocket money and donate to a charity organisation. Be the Santa to the poor or a sick or even someone who does not celebrate Christmas,” Mom suggested to the little boy who didn’t have to look far within himself to be on the other side of a wrapped gift. Kevin’s eyes lit up. He jumped up and hugged his parents. “Thank you, my nameless givers. This Christmas, I will be a Santa myself. You will help me, won’t you?” he asked his parents who were already nodding in agreement.