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Is Santa Claus Real?

By admin On December 3, 2011 Under Emotional

“Imagination and the stimulation of imagination is the only way we have of getting beyond
the evidence of our own eyes and reaching for God.” – Douglas Gresham

What is Christmas?

Every year I feel the magic of Christmas again, like ripples spreading in my chest. I have often wondered why they wash over me and give me goose bumps; wondered at their reflections in my mind. Looking closely, it is a Baby I see there, breaking my stagnant stillness; a Baby of whose tale I never tire. From the epicenter of the manger, the gentle waves have expanded to take in long held family and cultural traditions of myth, story, and song. They embrace friendships, trimmings and food. Each Season it is all here in these wonderful, enchanted waves that break in my heart.

Part of this festive mix is the jolly old elf we call Santa Claus. He comes to me across the centuries with a splash of Yuletide passion. Yet not everyone gets delightfully wet. The tsunami of cynical skepticism drowns many. And so the thrilling patterns that move the heart are lost.

But they are not lost on me. I still revel in their enchanted fullness for I believe in Santa Claus.

Is Seeing Believing?

Some say, “Seeing is believing.” But can everything that is real be distinguished by sight, smell, taste, sound or touch? Love is real; hope is real; happiness is real. Yet can we see or touch them? Sometimes seeing is believing. And sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we cannot see.*

There are many things that embody this colorful collection of emotions that I feel at Christmastime. Santa Claus is an important persona of these very real feelings that are my holiday spirit. I cannot deny the existence of Santa Claus anymore than I can deny the existence of these feelings.

A Spirit

Santa Claus is a magical spirit that lives inside of me when I believe in him. It is this spirit that makes Santa real and while it is in me, he is as real as I am. To say it another way, I am the real Santa Claus while the Christmas spirit is in me.

So Santa Claus, the jolly gift-giver of myth, lives in me—casting magical ripples across my heart and imagination. He is as real as love and generosity. He is a personification of my Christmas Spirit—a symbol of Christmas itself. With other embodiments of the Season, he brings Christmas home to me.

“The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear and feel the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8

Do You Believe?

But he is only real for as long as I believe he is real and not a moment longer. When my friends tell me that Santa is not real, they are right. Sadly, he isn’t real for them any more. And part of the magic of Christmas dies with him. This is true of all feelings and emotions. How many of us live without the fullness of love, faith, or hope because we do not believe. Yet if you believe Santa Claus is real, like I do, then he is. Then Christmas and the world become a richer place—a place of poetry, fancy, and song. And there Santa lives in all of his enchanted splendor for as long as you want him to—even until you are as old as I am. All of us, not just the children, should believe in him.

“The Polar Express is about faith, and the power of imagination to sustain faith. It’s also about the desire to reside in a world where magic can happen, the kind of world we all believed in as children, but one that disappears as we grow older.” – Chris Van Allsburg

The maelstrom of unbelieve has often threatened the joyful ripples in my spirit. But I have come to realize that the measure of the enjoyment I experience in life is my decision. And choosing to believe in very real things I cannot see has made all the difference.

Are You Sure?

I’ve heard you are a doubter. I’ve heard you don’t believe in Santa Claus. Doubting has often made me sick.  Belief is one of the most affordable health cures.

I invite you to think again.

But for me, belief is a decision I have already made. The closing words of the movie, The Polar Express, perfectly describe how I feel:

“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell. But as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found, one Christmas, that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I have grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”


Here are a few stories I’ve written just for you. I pray they will help to keep your Christmas bell ringing:

Dad’s Father ChristmasA Christmas ProposalChristmas Presence

“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.”
– Francis Pharcellus Church

*from The Polar Express

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