Is Santa Claus Real
By: John Salerno
Is Santa Claus Real? A familiar question whose volume gets turned up a few decibels as the summer comes to a close. And once Thanksgiving is behind us, the decorations and merchandising in the stores all take on a Christmas and Santa Claus theme. It seems like stores these days don't wait for a new season to come, they just wait for an old season to end. And even before you get your first chance to bask in the sun at the beach, the stores and newspapers are promoting their "Back to School" sales. It's enough to make me want to go to the beach in the snow!
Many parents, by rote, follow in their parents' footsteps and teach their children that Santa is the one brings boys and girls presents on Christmas Eve, and what and how much you get depends upon if you're on Santa's "good" or "bad" list. But it seems more and more parents are starting to ask if telling children that Santa Claus is real is, in fact, a lie and ultimately may contribute to diminishing the trust between the c parent and child.
From that perspective, maybe the best answer to the question: "Is Santa Claus Real?" is simply: "No, son, I have to be honest with you… Santa is a fake. We've all been had! Problem is, there are a lot of valid reasons why, just maybe, we should pass off the "Man in Red" as a fraud so hastily! From a historical perspective, there is supporting evidence of a real legend with real historical routs. And, even more compelling is that from a value-instilling role model perspective the spirit and concept of what Santa stands for and teaches us is not only real, but it would be really missed if we didn't have his influence.
I think of the parent I remember seeing with a cigarette hanging from his lip threatening his son saying, "If I ever see you smoking I'll break your…" And, we all know what the boy is actually hearing, seeing and planning is this: Dad is great! I will be just like him when I grow up. I will smoke and tell my kids what they can and can't do… Just like dad!
In our fast paced world where tight schedules and economic pressures abound, the "selfless philosophies" we should include in our children's learning syllabus example may be fewer and further between than desired! We do a better job of teaching them how to be competitive than how to be compassionate or caring. But there is a selfish aspect to "giving" as many philosophers have circularly reasoned for us to see: If you do nice things for people, they do nice things for you. Well, that simple selfish truth about doing nice things and other people being willing to do nice things back, is exactly how mankind left the caves and live, albeit not perfectly, in our mutually dependent society today. And, isn't the same principle coming into play in every close and meaningful relationship? When your son or daughter finds his or her lifetime soul mate, isn't the success, romance level and longevity of the relationship dependent upon whether or not he or she enjoys "giving" as well as "receiving"? Yahoo or Google is filled with conflicting answers, provided by everyone from self-professed feather quacks like myself to to professionals with a lot of letters after their name on some shingle somewhere. No one agrees. So why not go right to the source and find the man in red and confront him. Well I am trying to do just that here…
In 1996 my son took an interest in what I was paying a lot of attention to at the time: the computer. When I naively explained "This is work. I'm not playing…", he replied: "Can I play too?" Well, persistent as he was I of course said: "OK". And that's how I decided to buy the domain "Santa.net" and he and I started the website together. After a while, I was beginning to feel like some jolly old fellow fell of a roof and I was delegated to take over for him. The fringe benefits of the job are many, but the responsibilities come with the privileges: Lots and lots of email letters to answer. Most were easy enough to respond to. Christmas lists, requests to check one's position on my naughty or nice list. And others were down right impossible to answer. Some left me with tears in my eyes, because some grown ups were so desperate they were asking the Santa.net Santa for help. But throughout the whole process I learned a lot about who Santa really is. In my busy life, I haven't spent much time trying to understand if, in fact, Santa is real or not. Then one day it came to me as if channeled through me by THE MAN himself, in the form of a poem, which I posted on Santa.net. The essence of the poem is. It's the feeling and spirit of what Santa represents that makes Santa more real than a lot of other people with social security numbers and drivers licenses! And Santa has that spirit. Please feel free to read the poem: Is Santa Real on the Santa.net Santa Animated Christmas Website for Kids see if you don't agree that Santa is, like Pinocchio, a real teacher of good things and an inspiration. The answer is easy: Yes, Santa Claus IS real!
Santa Claus and I became good buddies as a result of a project with my son in 1995...
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