I sit here with a cup of hot coffee in hand. The mug is decorated in a 1964 Coca-Cola Santa Claus design, and he is a mighty fine looking Santa.
The man in red is holding a bottle of Coke high in his hand, with two little children smiling near him. A small, black poodle looking dog with a red bow sits on its end with its paws lifted up, wagging its tongue toward Santa and his Coke.
For many of us who believed in a Santa Claus, it was with mixed emotions when the truth was revealed. If it hasn’t been revealed yet, and you’re not sure where I am going with this, I’d suggest you quit reading now.
Do you remember when you learned Santa did not exist? Were you angry? Hurt? Shocked? Now, I remember very little about my elementary school years. However, I sure as heck remember the moment I found out the bologna I’d been taught until then. A young girl’s first heartbreak. It was fun while it lasted, right?
How I Learned
Erin and I were walking to the “Santa Store” to pick out gifts for our parents with funds provided by them as well. I said something about Santa coming, and she looked at me and said, “You still believe in Santa?” Then she want on to tell me the real story. Oh Erin, how could you?! I know who’s not my playground buddy today.
Once I found out, I wasn’t sure I could let my sister believe this lie like I had. Do I tell her? When? How? Will she cry? As much as I wanted her to share the suffering with me (sisters are great for that), I kept quiet and went along with it for her sake. I actually found it fun doing so, pretending Santa existed and seeing the excitement light up in her eyes. This makes me realize now that believing in Santa is just as fun for the parents as it is the children.
All good things must come to an end, and the belief in Santa Claus was one of them. Being a resilient little Joe Dirt, I got over it and moved on. But do we pass this false tradition off to our children? I don’t think so.
It’s not that I don’t want them to be excited for this time of year, but I’ve found believing in Santa Claus is like building a dream upon sand. It doesn’t last, and you look back wondering what the point of it was.
If I do it because I enjoy seeing the excitement light up in their eyes, then it was for my sake alone. There is so much more about this season to love, and I cannot wait to start traditions and build new family value systems. Values and traditions that will rock the socks of Santa and his darling red suit.
Goodbye, Mr. Claus
It was nice at one time, Santa, but this chimney is closed.
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