(Through the wonders of technology, on this first day of December 2017, I repost this blog from last year, all while absorbing the sun on an Aruban Beach. Thoughts of Christmas to warm your hearts, if not your other parts)
On September 21, 1897, the editor of New York’s Sun captured the spirit of Christmas with these words,
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus…”
Seven words with an unanticipated longevity to the truth they proclaimed. The answer to a question from an 8-year-old girl.
This 8-year-old girl, facing life’s reality, sort reassurance from the authority of a newspaper. Imagine the quandary facing that editor, tell the truth or chip away at innocence?
He demonstrated great wisdom. He told the truth. A truth that holds to this day.
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus…”
This is a spirit different than religious traditions. It is a non-denominational phenomenon crossing cultural boundaries and containing a powerful message.
It is easy to lose hope in this world. One begins to wonder if evolution has slowed when it comes to the humanness of humankind.
Or given up on us entirely.
Despite this I say, now more than ever, yes there is a Santa Claus. Even among those who hold no such traditions. The spirit lives in the commonality of our being human.
All we need is a willingness to give for the sake of giving. To seek our happiness by making others happy.
We can share the experience of watching the wonder in the eyes of a small child. See the spark of the spirit come alive and grow within them. Embrace the comfort of old friendships, the warmth of family, or just the companionship of a good dog (but never a cat.)
We all yearn to make others happy and feel the satisfaction of bringing joy to those we love. Or those we are yet to meet.
We can find solace in those same words; Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
It is within us all. All we need do is open our minds.
So, no matter where your tradition comes from. Be it a generous caring man of a different era, proclaimed a Saint, and turned into the legend of Santa Claus. Or a celebration of another tradition with equal import to your memories. Whatever you celebrate, in this Christmas season and from here on, I wish for you;
To have no regrets except for things you didn’t do.
To never to be afraid of failing at anything, except failing to try.
To remember the past, but waste no time on it.
To look forward to the future, but understand you cannot control it.
To hold onto hope, no matter what.
To embrace your moments in this life, once past they can never be reclaimed.
To find what fills your heart with smiles and have it grow, like the Grinch’s, three sizes this day.
To find that childlike spirit long buried by the cares of the real world.
To let the shackles of growing up fall away.
To dance like Snoopy to the music of Schroeder.
To understand, like Linus, it is the spirit that matters.
To know there is always tomorrow for dreams to come true. Even on your last day on this earth, the dreams of those we leave behind live on.
To work for a future of a world filled with laughter.
To understand it is through our differences we share the commonality of being human.
To be a child again, if but for one moment. To hear the far-off sounds of jingling bells. To see a faint red light of a magical reindeer approaching in the cold winter sky. To feel the excitement at the footsteps of a jolly old man on the roof of your memories.
The best part of the Spirit of Christmas is it is within our power to keep it well all the rest of our days.
Happy Christmas to all and to all a lifetime of good nights.
5 thoughts on “The Tradition of St. Nick: Thoughts on a Christmas Eve”
Merry Christmas Joe! You brighten my day.
Now that is one of the nicest things I could ever hope for on Christmas or any time of the year. Merry Christmas to you
Aww! I have reposted to my blog, and also to Facebook. If there’s one post to give hope in this time, it is yours.
Thank you so much
I totally needed this today! Thank you! And Merry Christmas to you and yours!