Thanksgiving has been devoured and that is the official start of the Christmas season in the Banks house. My kids are dancing to Christmas music and throwing stuffed snowmen back and forth as I type this. And they look forward to the coming of Santa Claus, as most children do.
Santa is Magic
As an adult, I tear up a bit when I’m talking about Santa Claus. For me, Santa is the embodiment of what I wish the world could do all the time. Santa is a worldwide agreement that for one night, everyone will help make the world a magical, wonderful place. When my kids ask me if Santa is real, my response will be: “We have the power to create magic and Santa is the perfect example. The actual person named Santa does not exist, but he exists everywhere and now you get to be a part of the surprise and help create that magic for your younger siblings and for others!”
In Alaska, Santa is VERY REAL. We have been to his house in North Pole (a pretty elaborate gift shop).
Our friend works in the Anchorage post office and his job this time of year is to stamp letters written from Santa with the North Pole postmark (more information on how to do this).
We had another friend (since moved away) that worked for NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense). Many, many years ago, the story goes that there was a SEARS ad run in the newspaper in Colorado to talk to Santa. Instead of including the department store’s phone number, there was a misprint and they instead published the telephone number of a super secret red telephone at NORAD (2 people had this number!). When children started calling the number asking about Santa, the Colonel that answered the phone played along. Later, he even called the radio and said: “This is the commander at the Combat Alert Center, and we have an unidentified flying object. Why, it looks like a sleigh.” NORAD now has an official “Santa Tracker” app and you can follow exactly where Santa is at every moment all day Christmas Eve (and boy do we!). Our friend that worked there says everyone at the Alaskan NORAD takes this charge of protecting Santa on his journey and tracking his flight very seriously. MAGIC, amiright?
Being Santa is a Privilege
If you are able to bring the magic of Santa to your children every single year, you are in a privileged position. Many, many people have to break the magic out of necessity. “Santa isn’t real. He’s not coming this year.” Many others, in a bad year, will spend this season stressed out and sad that they aren’t able to bring Santa to their children this year as they have in years past. They will try to figure out ANY way to keep that magic alive.
You Have a Responsibility
If you’ve never had to worry about providing (or receiving) the bounty of Santa’s magic, you have a responsibility to keep that magic alive for others as well. There are two specific ways you can do this:
- Don’t Have Santa Buy Expensive Things – No, this isn’t a pitch for an experience-based Christmas or for not buying things. This is is message for EVERYONE! I don’t care how many presents you personally buy your children, but remember, Santa is part of a collective agreement. He serves the entire world. If Santa buys your kids the latest video game console and a bunch of games and controllers, your kids will head off to school and have the standard post-Christmas conversations: “What did Santa bring you?” How will the conversation go when the response they get is: “Santa brought me a pair of socks and a book”? Santa doesn’t love your kid any more that that kid. You want your kids to have nice things and you have the means to provide them. When you are the gift-giver, this is a conversation you can have with your children later. But please, for the sake of that other kid, don’t have Santa be the one that buys all the expensive stuff. Let’s help level the playing field for Santa.
- Help Santa Out! – There are amazing organizations all over that help provide presents to people that aren’t able to do that for themselves. I’m not advocating just one way to do this. There are hundreds of ways!
- Buy a gift from the giving tree in the mall
- Donate a toy to a holiday toy drive organization
- Mail a gift card or some cash to a family you know that could use Santa help this year (lost job? single mom? health problems? debt problems?)
- Go through your Church or community organization that helps families in your community this holiday season.
- Come up with your own idea!
- Do more than one of the above!
I love Christmas. And I think the world desperately needs a little Christmas. Right this very minute! (couldn’t help myself.)
How do you keep the magic of Santa alive in your home and community?