Blogpost, self-reliance

The Conviction of Santa Claus

Childhood should be a magical time where kids have the ability to believe in certain things. They should be able to believe in their ability to be an astronaut or a cowboy or an astronaut cowboy. Blind faith dwindles as we gain experience. As a child, there was a time where Santa Claus was something that I believed in without any doubt. He was a real person who had semi-magical powers and brought gifts for me and my brothers on Christmas. Now I believe in the concept of Santa Claus but not the man. The man no longer delivers on the promise of my childhood. He does not show up with presents. However the feeling and belief in what is represented is still there. It has morphed into something much more general and less strong. The certainty has been replaced by a version of realism/skepticism.

If a man in a red suit shows up in my house early Christmas morning, he’s more likely to get the business end of a baseball bat than cookies. This reaction is based on thirty five years of non-belief. The question is not whether that momentary reaction is right or not. The true dilemma is how long do I hold onto my “realistic” belief if the evidence is in his favor. Would I bear witness to convict Santa if his story held up? My hope would be no, that I am able to change my beliefs about what is possible based on new information. We should all have this ability. However most of the time, we are not dealing with a court case. We are living moment to moment making gut reactions on beliefs.

The best version of “A Christmas Carol” is the one with George C. Scott in my opinion.

In all likelihood, you’ll not be face to face with Santa in a few days. However you are going to be face to face with yourself often. Although your chances of becoming an astronaut cowboy are pretty slim (see if Elon Musk has a need), there are probably pieces of yourself that were discarded in the past. An optimism and self-belief that you could use in that new endeavor. The child inside of you believed that you could be anything and while some childish things need to be left behind, there is no reason that you can’t mix that sense of possibility with a dash of common sense. Most of the time that youthful spirit inside of you is trying to leave presents under your tree, not rob you of everything that you have. So put down the bat for a moment and see who it is that’s coming down the chimney in your head. Perhaps the ghost of your childish past is going to fill your stocking with something that you desperately need.

Singfish! Wouldn’t that be the opposite of humbug?

Pete

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