Thursday, December 10, 2009

Anual Christmas Blog

This post is a re-post from last year. Love it, hate it, leave a comment and state your case.

While I was in India I had the pleasure of getting to know an older, gray headed Englishman by the name of Keith. Keith and I shared a 10x10 room , went to work together on the worlds most crowded bus, and lived life together for those two weeks. Needless to say we had many fun and enlightening conversations. Keith is a devout atheist while I am a devout follower of Christ. This no doubt led to some interesting conversations. I can remember walking down the street one day when Keith looked at me and said,"You know, I used to believe in Santa Clause."

I chuckled, "I know where your going with this," I said. "I've made this same argument, for different reasons of course but still, the same argument."

"I used to believe in Santa Clause but then I grew up and found out that he wasn't real. You know I used to believe in God? But then I wised up. God and Santa, both imaginary, things people make up to make themselves feel good. They may be fun but they aren't real."

Keith was a logical person, an intelligent person, well read, a world traveler, and this was logic. Keith wasn't the first person that I've come to know who as a child or as an adult came to these same conclusions. After all, they are logical. My mother is one of those people who for a period of time doubted the existence of God for these same reasons.

At what point did tradition trump morality? When did it become acceptable to lie for the sake of fun? Right and wrong isn't determined by the out come of a situation, family tradition, how fun it is, or what everyone else is doing. I'll leave you with a few more stories that I've been told.

"It was a let down. I was in second grade and had suspected there was a cover up for a while. The creepy thing was, I told my mother I knew there was no Santa and she got this peeved look in her eye and said, "Children who don't believe in Santa don't get Christmas gifts". I was stunned. So, I said, "I guess I believe then". With that bit of creepiness, I went on to pretend to believe in Santa for years. Strangest part is that she responded similarly when I stopped being Christian."

"I can't remember how old I was (probably around 8). I remember I was obsessing about getting my Christmas list done so I could give it to Santa. I was trying to find good paper for it and I was probably annoying my parents to no end. I remember getting a slip of wrapping paper and announcing that I was about to write my list.

That's when my dad told me to come to him. He said that they made up Santa Clause and that he wasn't real. I was devastated. I really did believe in him with all my little heart. It felt like the magic of Christmas shattered before my very eyes. He said that all parents tell their kids the same story. I asked why they would do such a mean thing- to make them believe in something and then tell them it isn't true. He said that it was so parents could give gifts to their children without taking the credit for giving them. I understood that side of the argument, but I was angry and heartbroken that parents would put their children through that. I asked him why he told me and he said it was because I was old enough to know.

After that, I didn't want to write my list. He told me to do it, though, and so like a good little girl I obeyed. However, the list seemed to be significantly less important to me that year.

It never occurred to me to question the existence of God right then and there, but I did wonder about it later. I mean, if they lied to me about one man doing miraculous things, why wouldn't a supernatural, all-seeing, all-knowing being be a lie as well?

I know it seems nothing, but I really did believe in Santa with every fiber of my being, and that experience was absolutely unforgettable. Since then, I have vowed never to tell my children about him- or at least I would say that it's just a story from the very beginning. Strangely enough, I haven't changed my mind all these years. "

1 comment:

Helen Ann said...

You know I'm with you on this...I would never rain on someone else's Santa parade, but I really question the tradition of telling lie upon lie to keep kids believing the lie. Some say it's 'the magic' of Christmas...But its still a lie if you sell it as true when you know it's not.