I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post today. I knew I had a lot to do this morning. I had to send out my newsletter and gather my thoughts for the new month of December, check emails before I was to help at our Taekwondo Promotion Test today. However I woke up early feeling uneasy and had no real sleep. Anxiety was tearing its ugly head and I decided to scroll through my Instagram feed a little while I laid in bed to support my fellow designers and diy friends. I came across a post from a woman who spoke about feeling torn on whether to explain to her children that their Christmas presents came from Santa or say that they were from Mommy. I felt empathy for her and this is why...
She explained that her mother had grown up in a low income household and would only get nuts and berries at Christmas while other children got toys... so she never believed in Santa, and in turn did not teach her children about him. I immediately thought of my mom, a single mother who always tried to give us what she could on Christmas despite the struggles she faced. She always told us most of the gifts were from Santa and a few were from her. She believed and taught us to believe as well. No matter what gift we got, it was a gift of magic. A gift from believing.
Christmas held the type of magic I try to hold the whole year through, a feeling of hope and rejoicing in the goodness of the universe and the miracles we encounter despite the heaviness of the world around us. It didn’t matter what the gift cost or what it was. We received gifts of love because we were good and Santa would always deliver some sort of magic to our home. For those lessons and memories I will forever be grateful and will instill them into my children one day.
I still believe in Santa Clause for many reasons and wrote him a letter this year realizing I hadn’t written to him in so long. I was watching A Miracle on 34th Street the other night and came to the realization that I was little Susan. All I had ever wanted for Christmas was a family and a home. When she showed Mr. Kringle the catalog home she desperately wished for it hit me. All I ever wanted was a family and a home for myself. I had wanted my mom, dad and brother together in our own home, but our parents divorced when I was 3 years old and we lived with our mother in our grandparents house. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Growing up with my grandparents and great-grandmother in the same house. The love I felt from living with them for so many years of my life was a true blessing that I was lucky to have been given. But as I grew up, the wishes of a little girl on every birthday cake was a wish of wanting to be happy. I realize that I equate happiness with a family and home of my own.
I asked Santa, my old friend, for this gift. I made sure to tell him as little Susie said, that I know it is a gift that may be unattainable due to circumstances beyond his control. But I figured it was worth a shot. I had tried to be good all this year and felt like dropping him a line to tell him that I have always and will always believe in him. You see, with every Christmas movie I see, Carol I hear, or card I write; the magic of Christmas envelops my heart and makes me cry tears of joy. I never want to lose that and want my children to feel it as I have felt it my 35 years of life.
My husband and I both believe, as do our parents and siblings. One memory sticks out that is bittersweet for me that I told Brian about the other night for the hundredth time. I remember being at my father’s during Christmas time and he had company over. I mentioned something about Santa and he joked with his friends that "Santa can’t be real." "How could he go to millions of homes around the world in one night," he said, "it just couldn’t happen." I had heard my friends in school say he wasn’t real but I would never believe it. I didn’t believe my dad either. I ran upstairs and cried, not because my hopes were crushed, but that my father would embarrass me about my beliefs in something so pure and good. I knew at a young age that joking about other people’s beliefs were wrong and I felt sad he didn’t hold the Christmas spirit within his heart.
Santa wasn’t about the person, it was about the feeling and what he represents. Yes I still leave out milk and cookies and get nervous on Christmas Eve before falling asleep, but I have learned of the true meaning of Christmas and the symbol of Santa himself. I believe in the good in people despite the bad. I believe in God and all he represents. We can’t see God but we believe he exists. I used to reiterate my favorite line from Tim Allen’s Santa Claus to my students, "That even though we haven’t seen a million dollars, we still believe it exists." We don’t witness miracles everyday but we believe they can happen. The ability to exist in this world is apparent in our everyday life as human beings, that is a gift of magic in itself. Magic that I try to keep the whole year through and not just on Christmas.
I could keep reminiscing about each twinkling light, or each heartwarming feeling I get when I see a snowflake, but my message here is that believing is seeing. I believe that I will attain what I wish for. Whether it’s in the form I dream of or it will manifest in another way, I will get my Christmas wish. It may not be this Christmas, but I believe I will get it one day. Keeping the thrill of hope alive is a difficult task, especially when you suffer from anxiety and feelings of doubt. I interestingly seem to self destruct less during my favorite time of year. I wonder if it’s because the magic within me is all around me. Or maybe it’s because the magic all around me fills my heart with the hope it needs to survive the year through. Whatever the reason is, I will always believe in Santa Claus.
The Grinch taught us that the gift of giving is not about things wrapped in pretty bows and shiny paper, it is the gift of time to your loved ones, the gift of a smile to a stranger, the gift of support when a friend needs it most, the gift of spending quality time with yourself or doing good deeds... the true meaning of Christmas is what the big guy himself represents- The goodness we are taught to spread throughout the world from God. That despite the bad, we are still inherently good. I will teach my children that the legend of St.Nicholas is one that I hold dear to my heart and always will. Whatever you call him, wherever you are, I hope you believe in the magic and the miracles he represents. Just stop and take a good look around you during every season of our lives, magic is all around us, you just have to believe it in order to see it.
Love, Jacqueline xoxo