I love having a six-year old to remind me of the spirit of Christmas… I have always loved this time of year, but to see it through his eyes brings me so much joy. Today we went to get breakfast, just the two of us, and then we went out to Christmas shop for a few last gifts. The highlight was the dance party to Holding Out for a Hero as we drove to Target. Honestly this moment is one of those that will be forever in my mind…
On Friday I was in a department meeting surrounded by phenomenal women. As we were sharing our celebrations one friend talked about her husband and daughter giving back to others. When it was another person’s turn she shared a story from when she was little. She talked about her younger brother and when he found out there was not a “real Santa.” She said he started to cry and his mom said something about why are you crying since you already get so many gifts. He then said he was crying because if Santa is not real, what happens to all the kids whose parents can’t afford toys for them… then all of us started to cry.
There is something comforting, magical thinking that a fictitious person exists that makes sure each child regardless of background, beliefs, religion, immigration status, gender, or income receives the gifts they desire… and at least for one day a year all children are brought joy.
If we think about the traditional “christian” Christmas story, it is about the birth of Jesus… the one who was to be the savior. If we delve into the life of Jesus we see he cared for all and especially the outcast… those society said were not worthy of love or even a passing glance. He helped those who felt the least to feel the most by merely showing them kindness. A simple act, but yet an act that transformed lives.
While the magical nature of Santa and Christmas are wonderful, there is something I think we are all missing. I love to stay up late on Christmas Eve and put gifts out for my son to discover on Christmas morning and I will be so sad the day he no longer “believes,” but I really think Christmas in its essence of both Santa and Jesus was about showing kindness to all, every single person not just the ones I like or agree with…
Our society is caught in a time of so much hate… the idea of a person showing kindness regularly is now seen as rare mythical unicorn that is only for a select few who we are not sure if they even exist… yet kids are crying because they realize if Santa is not real, it means that not only do many children suffer 364 days a year, but it also means they suffer the one day our society claims as magical… and we as the adults stand around and point fingers at who is to blame when the answer is the person I see in the mirror each morning.
The magic of Christmas is making sure all regardless of background, beliefs, religion, immigration status, gender, or income receives the kindness they deserve not because of what they have done, but because of who I am, who you are, who we can be if we decide to take responsibility to be the magic of Christmas once the guy in the big red suite disappears into our childhood memories.