Happy Holidays

For people of all faiths, who either believe or don’t believe to whatever degree, I wish Happy Holidays. Celebrating the spirit of giving is not confined to a religious act, nor would I suppose it is confined to being a human act. I would also point out that it is not something that should occur at only one time in the year.

I wish any and all a moment of being able to look past their own suffering, beyond the various religious rituals, political processes, and even retail marketing madness that have been built up around this season – just a moment of looking beyond these things and seeing the deeper greatness we are all capable of. A moment of seeing this potential within ourselves and within each other, before looking again at all the suffering, the religious tug-o-wars over which brand has the ‘real’ bragging rights for the season, the political posturing, and the undue expectations that an out of control marketing culture is all-too-happy to let us think we are not living up to, until we have emptied our wallets and bank accounts.

A moment is all it takes to put things into a proper perspective – it is this kind of moment that I wish for us all. Such moments lead to a lasting happiness, a spirit of giving that outlasts the various retail orgies and flourishes in even the most adverse conditions. For those fortunate enough to have already experienced such a moment, an encouragement to share with others is hardly necessary :-)

When I was younger, I was told by my father’s mother that Santa Claus did not exist. This was during the summer, between the third and fourth grade. I remember the day clearly, because she laughed at me for still believing in Santa – she actually laughed at me and told me what a fool I was. I remember the look on my mother’s face – spanning within a matter of seconds the range from shock, to outrage, to sadness and regret, as she was inclined to let me believe in Santa Claus until I was ready to stop believing on my own. I spent some time trying to resolve the resulting conflict and it was through this process that I experienced the kind of moment that I wish for everyone to have: I understood Santa Claus to be a symbol, a symbol for the spirit of giving, and the pure joy to be found in possessing this spirit. In that moment, I saw past everything to a deeper truth … and I say without shame or embarrassment that to this day, I still believe in Santa Claus ;-)


15 responses to “Happy Holidays

  1. Happiest wishes for you as well dear.

    I’ll be honest, if someone did that to my child I would go ape (especially the laughing part). I don’t have any children as of yet but I’m thinking my child will know of both Santa and Krampus. I think this world needs a little more Krampus. :P

    Liked by 1 person

    • My mother was in a rather unenviable position at the time, and generally did what she could to keep the peace. That being said, I was asked to go outside and play for a while, after which my mother came out to talk with me. I suspect the two may have exchanged a few thoughts while I was outside. Although I know it made my mother fairly sad, it was exactly the catalyst I needed to form my thoughts about this season and Santa Claus. My father’s mother certainly never saw the end result coming, otherwise she would likely have held her tongue. More Santa, more Krampus – more Odin and Jesus, as well – but I think less marketing, less politics, and more reflection on the nature of generosity would be a strong step in the right direction :-)

      Thank you for reading and commenting – we will have to catch up at some point!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a good point, I think – good intentions, when it comes to the Jesus vs. Santa debate that seems to occupy a lot of people around this time of year. My way of looking at it is that there is a possible historical basis in both as having lived as humans; but it is the spirit of what they are meant to represent, or what they are said to have stood for, that is celebrated today. In that regard, one is just as real as the other.


  2. Ah, the myth of Santa Claus. My husband has still not gotten over the lie of it all. I didn’t realize how cruel it is to children until I heard his story. He says that’s the first great deceit in a person’s life. I can’t remember how i found out. I think I was snooping in my parent’s closet and found the presents. ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the market-driven image of a fat man and flying reindeer is a deceit (but then, so are a great many market-driven images). I do not think I would ever promote this image to a child (I’m not fond of lying to a child); but from my perspective, it would not be a lie or deceit to explain Santa as a spirit of generosity and the joy to be found in being or receiving generosity.

      I think where children are concerned, the danger is that children aren’t stupid – the notion of Santa as a joyous gift-giver enters the mind at an early age. When that notion is there, it gets crushed right along with the rest of the Santa image when a child learns that the Santa they’ve been fed all along isn’t real. This risks causing a child to question the notion of generosity – it takes something away from not only the child, but society as well.


  3. I too believe in Santa, be it the symbol of that jolly red suited generous fella who brings joy to the children of all the land (where would we be this season without that tiny niggling of warm and fuzzy when we see the sparkling of lit trees, the all familiar imagery of the fur trimmed suit, or any of those such things that remind us that other people are important too) or the smiling face of the volunteer who gives back a kindness to those in need. Shame on anyone who tries to ruin such a wonderful feeling in a child (or an adult for that matter). It is our familiar traditions, no matter where they hail from or what different meanings they may hold for each if us, that help us feel a connection.. I am inclined to let anyone believe for as long as they want.. Yes, Santa is a symbol but he is also very real in the hearts of many.

    Liked by 1 person

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