The Red Suit Conspiracy – believing in Santa

WARNING:  THIS BLOG MAY MAKE FOR AN UNCOMFORTABLE CHAT IF LITTLE ONES READ IT.

As a kid, I was pretty gullible.  I tended to think that what anyone told me was the truth, otherwise, why would they say it?

I also spent a lot of time getting sucked in to things.  Maybe that’s why I hate gambling so much.  Not that I have a moral stance on it, but just because I’m lousy at it.

When you’re really little, like pre-school or Kindergarten aged, Santa is like God to you.  What an incredible being, who rides around at night in a sleigh being pulled by flying reindeer, leaving presents under the tree for every kid in the world. It’s no wonder kids run screaming from him at the mall.  He’s super human!

Of course, toddlers don’t think in practical terms.  We are told about Santa, we see the gifts, so therefore, Santa is real.  Simple.

As you get a bit older, you start to see some cracks in the Santa story, though.  Mostly, it’s from older kids laughing or beating up some poor sucker who blathered that they still believe.  Who wants that kind of Christmas gift?

I remember when I lost my ‘Christmas Virginity’.  It took a while, much like my rea…..never mind.  Anyway, it started out with little things like opening the gifts with Santa’s signature on them, then going to our cousins house to see similar Santa gifts with different hand writing on the presents.  That sure seemed odd.

Then there would be Christmas Eve when we were tucked not so neatly into our beds, and I’d hear what sounded like Mom and Dad stumbling down the stairs with something big.

I spent some serious time contemplating this dilemma.  I mean, on one hand, for every Christmas up to now, the manifestation of the great and powerful Santa was clearly evident.  Shopping malls had him on display, Christmas specials confirmed his existence, and our parents and older family members assured us that he was very real.  Then, as sure as the sun would come up, presents were littered around the tree.

Being the gullible kid I was, and knowing I was gullible, meant that I had to take serious stock of things.  I didn’t want to be that kid getting beat up in the school yard for believing – especially if it wasn’t true.

So, I weighed the evidence before me.  The gifts showed up as promised every year, with no trace of them in the house before I went to bed, and all the television, radio, and adult conversation said he was real.  It’s what I was raised to believe.

On the other hand, the idea that one man could circumnavigate the entire globe in one night flying around with magic reindeer, stopping at virtually every house on the planet, and little elves making cool toys like etch-a-sketch and rock-em-sock-em robots didn’t seem very likely.

So, it came down to one key factor.  Was the Santa story a magical truth or an elaborate hoax?  When faced with this at the age of 8 or 9, I decided that the only logical explanation was that he must exist, simply because I concluded that there was no way an entire adult world could support such an elaborate ruse for that long.  Not a chance!

I was happily resolved with my results until one day when I was playing at a friends house, and he said to me, “I don’t believe in Santa.  Do you?“.  Gulp!  The acid test.  Could I stand behind my conviction?

No!  Of course not.  I blurted out, unconvincingly, “No, I don’t either.

Just then, my friend’s mother walked in and scolded us for telling the secret when his little sister was just in the other room.

Wait a minute.  I was lying when I said that I didn’t believe.  Now, this lady unwittingly confirmed my worst fear.  Santa didn’t exist after all.

I was quietly heart-broken.  All those dumb adults really could keep the secret.  So much for logical deduction!

Through adolescence and early adulthood, I was wise and smug about Santa.  I would mentally criticize parents who tried to convince their kids that the jolly old elf was working hard up at the North Pole, so they’d better be nice…..or else!

That is, until I had kids of my own.

When you have children, your cynicism about things starts to soften.  You start to immerse yourself into their wonderful little fantasy worlds.  And along with that, you begin to rethink your stance on the whole Santa conspiracy.

I took a logical approach to Santa, just like I did when I was 8. Putting aside for a moment, just who Santa is, lets look at things:

  • He still comes late at night, delivering gifts to children – CHECK
  • He works all year in his ‘workshop’ so the kids will have gifts under the tree by Christmas – CHECK
  • He brings joy and amazement to little children on Christmas morning – CHECK

I think that if you put a few details aside, like the little reindeer, and the North Pole, Santa is every bit as real as us.  I think we, in our smug, all-knowing youth, had it completely wrong.  The little kids were right after all.

Santa does exist.  There is no conspiracy after all.

Great, old St. Nickolaus, the Bishop of Myra in Turkey who is said to have given gifts to children at the time, was only the first in a very long line.

Now, those honoured enough, and who have a hint of that childhood belief, work all year long in their own ‘workshops’ (office), along side the ‘elves’ (co-workers), and deliver gifts on that magical night to their little children.

What an awesome job to have.  Being Santa Claus. If all those parents slogging away all year, then standing in line at the mall don’t believe in Santa, they are as lost to the magic as any child who stops believing at an early age.

Let me stress that Christmas is NOT about giving and getting presents, or going into debt while burning through your credit limit at the mall.  Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  In that spirit, however, bringing joy to children seems like a pretty nice way to celebrate God’s love for us.

Don’t give up on Santa.  He’s real, and he’s in each of us.  The sleigh and red suit may be gone, but what he did, and what he represents is as real as ever.

Merry Christmas!

The Deliberate Blog

I’m starting to see a pattern with my blogs.  At least, I see a pattern of viewer feedback, or lack thereof, depending on my topics.  (ROB FORD)

I want to try something a bit different this time, and cover a bunch of topics that I’ve had collecting dust on my thought shelf.  (GUN CONTROL)

You see, I think that some subjects resonate more than others, so even when you think you’ve got a totally awesome blog written, you sometimes come up empty on ‘likes’, comments, and site hits.  (STEROIDS)

This blog will contain very subtle subliminal messages, that you won’t see, but that will trigger a subconscious reaction you will want to act upon.  This has been tried with laboratory rats, but unfortunately they can’t read, so the results were inconclusive.  The good news is only 3 of the 5 rats died – something about a gas leak in the lab.  (DISCRIMINATION)

With that little nugget of information, you can understand why I’m writing a blog that covers a myriad of topics.  I need feedback! (MILEY CYRUS)

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I was watching one of those home video shows, where people submit things like Grandpa blowing out the candles on his birthday cake, and instead, launching his dentures into the now ruined dessert.  There was a brief video of a little kid in a karate Gi, kicking his father where a father shouldn’t be kicked.  (UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE)

That happened to me.  My daughter was about 4 (probably older, but the memory is the first to……..what was I saying?), and we had her in karate lessons.  The Gi was so big on her, that my wife had to hem the pants completely in half just to make them short enough.  She was adorable!  (SYRIA)

We were in the kitchen, and I was helping her to practice breaking out of a hold.  She was to use her wrist to hit mine, getting me to let go of her, then she was to kick me ‘in the nuggets’ to try to knock me down, then run away.  Of course, we were doing this all in pretend, and in slow motion so she could remember what to do.  (ASSISTED SUICIDE)

We were both laughing while she gingerly moved her hand down to break my grip.  I let go of her, then asked her what came next.  She said ‘Oh yeah’, then like some miniature ninja, sprung up, and swung her little foot as high and as hard as she could, connecting with the ‘nuggets’ perfectly. (CHINA)

I hit the ground like a bag of hammers, the wind knocked out of my lungs.  As I hit the floor, she then completed the move by kicking me once more then running away.  Once I came to, I couldn’t decide if I was more proud or in pain.  All I could do was squeak out ‘go get your mother’.  (CRACK COCAINE)

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I read an article once, where a business leader was tasked with opening a new office.  After looking at some best practices, consulting with other professionals, and digging into what new employees want, he came to the conclusion that he wouldn’t open any office at all.  (CREATIONISM)

Instead, he set up the new business completely as a ‘tele-commute’ operation.  Every employee would work from their own homes, and connect through the cloud to conduct their business or hold meetings.  (WORLD HUNGER)

I’m starting to wonder if some schools and other institutions should try to follow the same model.  I live in an area of rapid growth.  The elementary school, which is less than 10 years old, has had to split it’s higher grade students into the local high school because of overcrowding.  Bad planning?  Maybe.  The trouble is, we invest in these static, very expensive structures that can’t mold with the changing demographics.  In other areas of the same school board, classrooms sit empty because the school-aged population has moved away.  (DISTRACTED DRIVING)

We need to take a different approach to urban/suburban development so that we can grow and shrink with the needs of the community.  Perhaps this business leader can be the genesis of a completely new way of blueprinting community development.  (CLIMATE CHANGE)

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Last weekend, our son was home from university to visit my father.  We took him and his girlfriend back right around supper time (how convenient!).  We decided to hit a restaurant near the school.  When we got there, the hostess said we could choose to sit in the restaurant side or the lounge side, where all those giant flat screen TV’s are blasting sporting events. (GAMBLING)

Just as the overly friendly hostess grabbed a stack of menus, a small herd of screaming kids trampled past us at 150 decibels in the restaurant side.  The lounge won.  I can learn to like cricket!  (OBESITY)

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There must be a universal force that overrides peoples brains when they park.  In our neighbourhood, the streets are the perfect size for cars to pass each other, going in opposite directions.  That’s what they were built for.  Sometimes cars will park on the street, making it a bit of a tight squeeze when cars pass at the same time.  (CULTS)

Here’s what I don’t understand.  When there is a car parked on one side of these narrow streets, what cosmic force tells another driver to park EXACTLY across from them on the other side of the street?  It happens all the time, and virtually grinds local traffic to a standstill.  (ABORTION)

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I hope you enjoyed my little ‘kitchen sink’ blog of random topics, and I want to thank you for participating in my subliminal messaging experiment on the responses to blogs.  (GAY MARRIAGE)

As an FYI, I have now found work, so this may be my last blog since I’ll be so busy.  Hope you had as much fun reading them as I’ve had writing them.   (BACON)