Saturday, December 19, 2009

Do you believe?

Sean's nephew Dylan is nearly ten years old, and apparently this is the first year he has really questioned the existence of Santa Claus. Kids these days seem to hold onto the idea of Santa a lot longer than they did when I was a child; granted, I was a disbeliever from an exceptionally young age, but it seems as if all my friends had joined me in skepticism if not outright disbelief by the age of eight. At any rate, Dylan has been expressing concerns for some time now, and this year he wrote Santa a secret letter which he wouldn't let his mom see. She managed to sneak it away from him and read it before it was mailed. (I think she actually kept the letter and substituted a blank piece of paper in the envelope, believing the original is something Dylan will want to have for his own someday.) In his note, Dylan flat-out asks Santa if he is real and to give him some sort of sign. Dylan's mom asked Sean if he could compose a response, using his beautiful calligraphy skills, that wouldn't dash Dylan's hopes but would let him down easily. Sean obliged yesterday, writing an elegant letter in calligraphy highlighted with both silver and gold ink. It's a letter that I know Dylan will treasure forever.

Dear Dylan,

I understand that you have some doubts about Santa Claus being real. I am writing to you in the hopes you will understand the special way that Santa Claus lives as the Spirit of Christmas. I know that it may be difficult to find an answer that will satisfy both your curiosity and your faith in the Christmas spirit. As you suspect, Santa Claus is not flesh and blood, or alive in the way that ordinary people are alive. But Santa Claus is kept alive in people's hearts and imaginations as an important symbol of the spirit of giving and joy at Christmas time. Some people think that grown-ups don't believe in Santa Claus, but of course they do when they do so many things to keep Santa Claus alive as the Spirit of Christmas. Your faith in Santa Claus is a sign of your open heart and your generous spirit. Even if you will no longer believe in the jolly man in the red suit, I know that the Santa Claus that is the true spirit of Christmas will continue to live in your heart.

Merry Christmas,
St. Nick

1 comment:

The Invisible Mo said...

This reminds me of when my boys decided to flush "Santa" out by wrapping several of their own small toys and putting them in a box for a present for Santa. They were hoping that I would open them and they would know for sure that I was indeed the Santa delivering their presents. I put the box away in a box of fabric just the way it was. After a few years I forgot about it. I found it when I finally unpacked that box years later, when the boys were all but grown. I showed it to them at the next Christmas and we all had a good laugh over it. I opened the box but the little presents are still wrapped inside. I usually put it out under the tree every year.