With the holidays just around the corner, when I think of the embodiment of Christmas it is no longer the large man with a white beard and red hat. It’s my mother in his place. It’s the incredible lengths she went to so my brother and I could believe. And, now, it’s also myself I see in that place, with my large sack of gifts (most of which are already wrapped).
Was it a lie? For her to ask “what did Santa bring you?” To have us believe in magic and possibility and hope? There are those who would say it was, that there was a seed of dishonesty. But, it was never about what was wrapped under the tree. It’s what it meant. Like, what it meant if mom could still cook the turkey every Thanksgiving. We might not have had milk in our fridge. Mom might have been sick. But, we had Christmas.
When we later came to the realization on our own that Santa wasn’t real, the magic was still there, if not more so, to discover everything my mother did to make sure we could still believe. And, from the time my brother and I were old enough to know mom was Santa, we were also old enough to know we were, too. Everyone has a little bit of Santa in them.
There is magic in the world if we know where to look. Children know where to look. We just forget when we’re older. Buttercups telling us who loves butter and who doesn’t. Butterflies and fireflies are fairies in disguise. The sun setting and the moon rising. A wish on a dandelion. Leafs changing and snow falling. That such a big sunflower can come from such as tiny seed.
Every day is a miracle. Fairies and Santa Clause are the embodiment of them. And just because I’m older doesn’t mean I don’t still believe and doesn’t mean the magic has disappeared. It’s only become stronger.