Believing in love, goodness and hope
it was in St. Dunstan’s school yard during recess when I was in grade two, that another boy told me: “there is no Santa Claus.”. At first I didn’t believe him. At lunch I asked my mother: “is it true.” She would not answer. So I started asking other kids, and they confirmed: “There is no Santa!”
How sad I felt on my first memory of disappointment. Shortly after we visited toy land on the fifth floor at Eaton’s store in downtown Toronto. There he was: Santa, asking kids what they wanted for Christmas.
It was soon after that I took notice of the crèche. Maybe that’s real. “Was Jesus really born in a stable,” I asked. “Of course He was,” my mother exclaimed. “Are angels real,” I inquired. Curious little kid, “stop asking so many questions, and eat your supper.”
Nobody seemed to want to talk about what was real or not real in those days, so I stopped asking, but never stopped wondering.
I have a confession to make. Every year, after it gets dark on Christmas Eve, I look up at the sky. I imagine what it would feel like to see his eight reindeer, or was it twelve, flying across the heavens on their way to sleeping children in far away lands.
Oh, but it’s only a fable I’m told. It makes my heart beat faster to think that there is mystery that we don’t fully understand. Now I think of Santa as a comforting father figure, kindly, friendly, caring: like God.
When Father Addley was Pastor at my parish Our Lady of Lourdes, I was pleasantly surprised one year to see a picture of Santa Claus on the rectory front door. At first I was shocked. “He’s not real, you know,” I wanted to say. “But, Oh no, he’s real alright, to the many people who believe in love, and goodness, and hope.”
Christmas is not about commercialism, it’s about the gift. It’s about the mystery we call Incarnation. May the magic of a baby’s face touch our heart this year, as we rejoice that the divine saw us worthy to share in the mystery of His Son. Feliz Navidad