The Parents Dilemma, Is Santa real.
I've already told you part of my struggle with this in our last post "Dear Santa…Are you Real?" But the part we haven't talked about is, where do we draw the line at lying to our children? Seeing as we're Christians, we're not suppose to lie either; but yet, that's exactly what we do every time our kids ask, "Mom, is Santa real?" At least that's how it felt until I read a very interesting story that happened a long time ago; when a little girl name Virginia wrote to the SUN and asked the very same question. I'm going to share that story with you now:
DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
VIRGINIA O'HANLON.115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.
This is Francis P Church's reply:
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Finding your own answer to "Is Santa Real?"
After reading his words, it is easier to allow my children to believe in Santa Claus without feeling like a horrible parent for lying to them. When my kids ask me, "Is Santa real?" I can feel better about saying yes, because according to Francis P. Church, Santa is real! He is the magic of the season. He may not be an actual person in a Jolly Red suit with flying reindeer that trespasses in each and every one's home to gobble up their cookies and drink their milk and leaves a few presents scattered under the tree. But he is Charity, he is love, he is service. He can be a very real part of Christmas; as long as we remember and teach our children how Santa Claus really came to be; by the service and kindness of a European man named Saint Nicholas who was following his devotion to our Savior. And although Santa Claus has grown to be so much more than just one man helping the poor; the spirit that it brings, the joy that grows in our children's hearts when they exhibit such perfect and innocent faith; that is the magic of Santa Claus, which makes him very real indeed.
So from now on, when my children ask, "Is Santa real?" I can say without feeling as though I'm lying,
"Yes! Santa Claus and the spirit he brings to us at Christmas time is Real."