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Originally posted by thelibra
Okay, something to consider...
Sure, Santa may not be "real" in the sense that a ruthless New World Order trying to institute a One World Government is "real", and it may have nothing to do with one's religious beliefs. And technically it could be considered lying to tell your kids that a fat man in a red suit travels to every observant house in one night to deliver presents if they are good. But this does not mean it is a useless mythology to be thrown out the window.
We live in an age that has almost no folkloric traditions anymore. What few traditions do remain have been bastardized or commercialized to the point where no one even remembers the origins anymore. I find this to be depressing. In a world of cell-phones on every ear, and the internet in every home, and a game console to fill the hours between cable TV shows, it seems like all folkloric traditions have gone the way of the dinosaurs. But one of the few surviving tales that remains to this day is the story of Santa Claus.
There's a certain feeling behind a belief in the impossible, there's a certain rush that a child can feel from looking out the window on Christmas Eve and catching a glimpse of what they think is Santa's sleigh. There's that aura of anticipation and expectation that has nothing to do with presents. There's a certain wonder attached to finding a bite taken out of the cookies by the fireplace. There's a feeling of completion in coming full circle, and perpetuating the stories to your children, as they were told to you, by the fireplace. They are one of the few connections to "The Old Ways" that are left that transcend religion.
Who among our British ATS members still leave cream and cakes out on the porch for the elves? Who among our married members receive enough honey mead to last an entire month after the marriage, in observance of the Honey Moon? Who among our Irish members still carry some cold iron on you, to fend off the sidhe mor? Anyone? Does anyone even observe the yule log tradition?
Santa may not be a tangible being, and the legend may not perpetuate your religious beliefs, but it is still a part of our heritage, our folklore. There's a certain magic there that has nothing to do with prayer or magic wands, but rather a certain fantasy that, for just a few hours a year, allows us to pretend that the world operates in a way outside of the everyday reality.
I hold no animosity towards my parents for telling me about Santa, but instead can remember fondly how I could swear I saw him once in the sky, and another time in our living room, for just the briefest of instances. Looking back, I can say the sky held a falling meteor, and the thing in the living room was just a trick of the light played upon by an overactive imagination. But part of that imagination was influenced by the idea that such a thing could actually be real. It was a magical time in my childhood, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
In conclusion, for those that choose not to perpetuate the legend of Santa for religious, scientific, or moral reasons, consider this: You are not only closing the door to an entire world of harmless childhood fantasy, but are ending a piece of folklore for generations to come...
[edit on 12/22/2004 by thelibra]