Saturday, January 5, 2008
The Santa Question
This Christmas I had to contend with the Santa question. You know the one.
It was brought up not by the fifth grade believer in question, but by her slightly older friend (sixth grade) who advised me that eleven was way too old to be a believer and other kids were going to make fun of any kid that old who still believed.
The first thing to determine was the reason the sixth grader felt the need to disabuse the fifth grader of her belief in Santa Claus. She insisted that she was just doing it to help her friend. I am too cynical to believe that her entire reason was altruistic, but I was unable to establish any truly malicious reason for her attempts to knock Santa off the fifth grader’s pedestal.
Next was checking with the believer to figure out if this was just a plot to rake in extra Santa gifts [my cynicism again] or true belief. She was not to be moved from her conviction that Santa was a real person who mysteriously did everything that Santa is supposed to do at Christmas.
The fifth grader’s older sibling (ninth grade) was no help, advising me that she herself had actually stopped believing in third grade but kept saying she believed just to make her parents feel better. She was also inclined to feel it did no harm to let her younger sister continue believing.
After some thought I realized that there is something to be said for Santa Claus being magically real, a mysterious being who causes thousands of people – even some adults - to behave better than they might even if only for a few weeks.
So, what is the harm in keeping Santa real for another year? Having some fifth graders make fun of me?
Tough. I’m hanging with Santa another year.
Think about it. Can you prove he doesn't exist? Yeah, neither could I.