Why I Still Believe in Santa Claus
Maybe it was because of the fire roaring in the fireplace, and the little colored lights on the Christmas tree. With all the other lights turned out, it created a feeling of magic, this sense that something special was about to happen.
Maybe it was the way my mother would put electric candles in all of our windows – so when we walked upstairs to go to bed, there was a warm orange glow bathing all the rooms in a luminescence that seemed almost other worldly.
Maybe it was the special food that she only made once a year - the brownies with chocolate and marshmallow frosting, or the "Yum-Yum" cake - moist, warm and crumbly with raisins, nuts and spices.
But mostly it was because of Santa Claus.
As a child, the spirit of Christmas for me was not in the fat, jolly figure who slipped down the chimney and left presents under the tree. It was the experience that, every Christmas, there was a spirit that came through the house and touched us - touched all of us - with love and joy, with peace and kindness. Though I stopped calling myself "Christian" long ago, I still love to go to midnight mass on Christmas Eve. There is a power in that night - when prayers are prayed, and songs are sung in celebration of a soul who came and gave us..something...some hope, some teaching, some wisdom of how to care for each other during our stay on the earth. And it was that spirit more than anything else that seemed to be Santa Claus to me - a palpable spirit that did visit everyone on the earth for a night.
As I got older, my friends would whisper in the school yard that there was no such thing as Santa Claus. Their older brothers and sisters had told them. It would lead to long debates. What we'd seen and heard on Christmas Eve, sneaking out of our beds, trying to catch Santa in the act. Trying to prove to ourselves whether Santa Claus was real or not. I was an adamant supporter of his reality. And even remember one young schoolmate who said that his parents had told him Santa Claus wasn't real. "Your parents are wrong," I told him, and proceeded to convince him just how real Santa Claus was. In later years - my father used to tell me I would have made a heck of a lawyer - and yes - my powers of persuasion were fairly potent - because even that young school-mate doubted whether his parents knew what they were talking about by the time we'd finished the conversation.
Precursor of spiritual counseling, I suppose.
I don't remember how old I was the year that I found out there was no Santa Claus. My parents were telling my younger sister that Santa didn't exist. When I protested, my mother said to me, “Bernadette - you're so smart. We thought you'd have figured it out a long time ago." And for about 2 seconds, I went along with it. But then it just kept coming back to me - no - there really IS a Santa Claus. There really is a spirit that touches all of us that night. OK - maybe my parents buy the presents, but there is definitely something else going on here.
This year, I felt it again. During the holidays. That change in the air, that sense of something special. That spirit touching everyone. And this year, I finally understood the mystery behind Santa. I finally understood what it was I had been picking up on all those years ago.
The Guru talks about the power of prayer, the power of just remembering the Creator. In Sukhmani Sahib, Guru Arjan says:
Simarao, simar simar sukh paavao
Kal kalays tan maahi mitaavao.
Remembering, remembering, remembering the Creator
Peace comes to you.
Pain, worry and anxiety just disappear from your body.
(SGGS, page 262)
Pain leaves. Peace comes. Just from simran – just from remembering.
In a world that’s obsessed with money, power, sex and conquest – here we have– during this one time of the year – a time of remembrance. A time of remembering the Divine. Whether you are Christian or Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim, or Sikh – it’s just in the air wherever you go (in Western countries, anyway). The story of Christ – the story of something sacred. The songs of praise – the songs that express gratitude to the Creator.
I never realized how powerful it is - to just remember the Divine - but it is a power, it's a tremendous power that creates a sense of peace, ease, healing and love. And even if those songs, that remembrance isn't sung in every single home – it doesn't matter. Just the fact that some people are doing it creates a vibration in the collective unconscious of humanity. It brings to life a spirit of good will that can sweep through every house, touch every person - because prayer - no matter what religion you believe in – has power.
I always knew there was a Santa Claus. This year I have seen it with my own eyes - that We are Santa Claus. The prayer that is created during this time of year from the hearts and lips of millions - that is the spirit that touches us, that gives a feeling of peace and love. Just because we are taking a moment to be together, and to remember.
Ho Ho Ho.
All love in the Divine,
Ek Ong Kaar Kaur