I love Christmas, it’s my favorite holiday. It is a time that I get to see my family and spend time with them. I mean, the music is so cheery, the movies bring people together, and don’t even get me started on the food! One of the best parts of Christmas as a child was getting to go see a department store Santa and waking up on Christmas morning with presents from the big guy himself. Now obviously, I know that my parents were actually the ones who intercepted my letter to Santa and stuck those presents underneath the tree, but why can’t I still believe? Just like bigfoot, the lochness monster, and other mythical characters; there have been many Santa sightings.
In the early winter of 1917, Pierre Ribolet, a 6 year-old Parisian boy, wrote a letter to Santa saying that he had been doubting his existence and politely asked for some sort of real proof that there was indeed a man behind the myth. Less than a week before Christmas, while feeling disheartened and blue from his unanswered letter, young Pierre received a red and white striped envelope in the mail that was postmarked from the North Pole. Inside, there was just one item: a black and white photograph of a man who looked EXACTLY like Santa Claus. Now I hear what you are saying, his parents could have just put the picture in a candy striped envelope, slapped an address on there, and set in their mailbox to trick their son into believing in Santa. Although, the date was 1917, and electronic printers were not invented until 1938. So the parents would not have been able to just hop on Google (also obviously not invented yet) and print off a picture of a snowy-bearded man.
Another case is when in 1999, three days before Christmas, a man and his wife were taking pictures of the skyline of Manhattan, and they saw a very fast moving vehicle thrashing through the sky. The woman quickly turned her lens on the scene and captured what must be the most revealing proof of Santa. Now last time I checked, flying cars still haven’t been invented, unless this is Back to the Future, and they saw the DeLorean flying around, so they definitely must have seen Santa’s sleigh.
Now you might not believe in the person of Santa, but I encourage you to believe in the Christmas spirit of Santa. The Santa myth is grounded in truth. After all, St. Nicholas was a real person. He became famous for giving gifts and money to the poor, and it’s those values that are important; it’s something that inspires children. The idea of the naughty/nice list also helps children learn that good behavior has rewards.
The happiness that comes from Santa is shown in the way kids behave, the smiles on their little faces, and the joy in their hearts. Santa is one of the reasons for Christmas spirit and cheer. It is hard to think of Christmas and not think of Santa. His heart and soul is a big part of our Christmas celebrations. So this year, fill your heart with the spirit of Santa. Give to all; be kind and loving. Who knows? Maybe you’ll wake up to something special under your tree.
•Gabi Criscuolo, firstname.lastname@example.org