6 December 2016

I Want to Believe this Christmas

Excited for Christmas, 1975
I have a recurring fantasy about Christmas. It doesn't involve presents or anything that can be bought. It doesn't require money or time and could bring hope to those who have been searching for the holiday spirit. It's a little radical and not where I thought I'd find myself at 43, but it has captured my heart.

 wish to simply and truly believe in Santa Claus for a few hours on Christmas Eve.

I know it sounds silly but I don't care. If only for a short time, that pure anticipation, joy and sheer wonder were part of my life again; I couldn't imagine a better feeling. I can still catch flashes of what I felt when I was a young boy, waiting for Christmas to get here, hoping and praying that I had been good enough for the Big Guy to stop by and give me a present. But like I said, this isn't about stuff, it's about that feeling one more time.
Santa and I circa 1973
I want to feel like there is something good in an increasingly hard world. I want to sing the carols louder than ever before. I want to celebrate with an abandon only felt when you are a child. I want to watch the specials on TV with people who share popcorn, laugh or cry together and know all the lines. But most of all, I just want a break from being a grown up. I want a brief respite from the never ending worry, bills, work and constant motion my life has become. I want just a moment to believe in something so wonderfully magical that it makes my smile genuine, my hugs tighter and my joy unabashed.
I do my best to remain positive at this time of year. I see so many people struggle with the burdens we have come to believe we must carry to make Christmas perfect. From the parties to the presents, we have become encumbered with expectations of what this time of the year is supposed to be. Encouraged by the visions of perfection we see on traditional and new media, we are caught in a stream of worrying if we are doing enough or if we can ever measure up. This anxiety and strain over Christmas has become a bigger part of the season than ever before and I think it is time to say
You are wonderful the way you are. Your family are what matter and however you choose to spend this holiday is the right way; regardless of what anyone thinks or says. Don't want to keep doing the same things every year, stop and do something new. Traditions had to start somewhere and if yours are not what you want, discard them and discover what makes you happy. The only thing that makes sense when you're unhappy is to seek a better way. There is not a rule saying you have to do anything because it is Christmas;
in fact I think the season is meant to be a celebration of all that is good in your life, your home and the world.
Late 1970's, take me back!
So this Christmas Eve I will look out the window and search for the sleigh. I will leave milk and cookies out with a note for Santa. I will have a hard time going to sleep because I will believe that I hear the reindeer up on the rooftop. I will let go of the resentments and fears that hold me back from the joy and happiness Christmas used to bring and I will embrace my inner Claus, whole heartedly and with everything I have.
I will believe in Santa, one more time.
Merry Christmas!

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