Santa was a figure I believed in when I was little. He and Jesus held similar posts in my young mind; I thought somehow that both could see me and my behaviour and the implication was clear that I was being judged. Santa possessed similar powers in another way too; he could reward or withhold depending on how 'good' I had been during the year.
The year I was nine was when this changed. The belief in Santa was being debated in my grade 4 classroom and we were taking sides. My friends, Kay, Judy, and Marie and I still believed; in fact, most of the girls did. It was the boys who were the sceptics and saying there was no such thing as Santa Claus, perhaps just to tease us the way boys did with girls back then.
Christmas Eve, I awoke from a deep sleep and I could hear my parents in the kitchen. I snuck out to the doorway and there were Mom and Dad at the table wrapping gifts. One gift in particular caught my eye, a black patent leather purse with a large matching flower on the front. My mother wrapped it and set it aside on top of a pile of presents already wrapped. I went back to bed thinking about the purse and hoping it was for me.
The next morning my sister unwrapped the purse; it was in her pile from Santa. I checked with Mom; so the purse is from Santa, is it? Oh yes, she says, innocently and unknowingly sealing Santa's fate in my mind.
Truly the logic of a real Santa had been baffling me but I didn't want to admit it; the flying reindeer and being able to get to every house in the world in one night were the two sticklers for me. Yes, I was disappointed to know the truth but I think in my heart I already had known it. I'd been making a choice to keep believing and isn't that just the way it is with so many things in our lives.
Belief is a precious often fragile thing.
Happy Christmas Eve!