January 6, 2012

I believe…

Swee’Pea and TheMonk are struggling in their belief. As much as they want to believe in a higher power, they are confronted by peers who audaciously announce that to believe is to be a fool. But they want to believe. I can see it in their eyes and feel it in their hearts – they want to hold onto the notion that a higher power of benevolent good does exist. They want to believe and so they asked me, last night, over dinner, “Daddy, is Santa Claus real?”

I looked at them from across the table and a heaviness weighed on my heart as I struggled with how to answer this question. I glanced at their mother and she looked back at me with a look that said, “How are you going to answer this one?”

And so I told them the truth:

I believe.

And while I kept it short and neither confirmed or denied the existence of a fat man in a red suit, I affirmed that I believed in him and that was good enough to end the discussion. But as I sit here now, a day removed from the unexpected question, I feel the need to elaborate even further. Because no matter your age, 6 or 60, believing in something is important. So, years from now, as you read this, my little ones, I hope you still believe.

Because I do believe. I believe in a warm, genuine love that makes kids feel safe and wanted and adored. I believe in the magic of Christmas mornings and the anticipation of promises delivered. I believe in cookies with egg nog and carrots for reindeer and stockings hung by the chimney with care. I believe in fantastical stories of ’round the world trips and radar systems that track His every move. I believe in the power of Santa’s lap and the tears of terror and smiles of joy that accompany it. I believe in naughty and nice and a list that is checked twice – a list that holds such esteem that behavior is changed between Thanksgiving and Christmas morning. I believe in the North Pole, Silver Bells and Reindeer Games. And I believe in the power of a man, real or imagined, that spreads joy to countless kids across the world. Yes, my children, I believe.

And I hope you always do too.


  1. One of my favorite poems ever is called “Where Is Santa Claus?” and it ends with:
    “His spirit’s behind all the gifts we receive.
    He’s everywhere, always to those who believe.”
    I believe.

    Comment by Jane — January 6, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

  2. I’m glad there is someone else who still believes. My mother-in-law has always told my wife to at least believe in a higher power.

    I also think that believing gives you hope. It’s sad to see others bring down another’s belief system. Just blatant attacks on another person is not acceptable. When did we get the idea that we should change everyone just because they don’t believe in what you believe or what you don’t believe in at all.

    Comment by Dad Versus — January 6, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  3. There IS a certain magic on Christmas morning when Santa is still part of it. My grandson still gets gifts from Santa. My grown children still get gifts from Santa. If you can still believe in Santa then its not hard to believe in the true meaning of Christmas, and the wonder and goodness of humankind. Happy New Year.

    Comment by Aunt Raina — January 7, 2012 @ 8:32 am

  4. I can still hear the bell.

    It’s helpful to still be able to tell my kids that Santa can’t come unless they’re asleep, regardless of their age. Heh.

    Comment by Headless Mom — January 9, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

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