For children, the appeal of Christmas does not lay in the prospect of receiving whichever hot toy corporate America levitates to the tallest pedestal, but rather the magic inherent in the holiday itself. Santa Claus plays a large role in maintaining that sense of magic and wonderment. Each year, Santa closes out the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to announce the start of the Christmas season. Of course, in a parade sponsored by a major department store, an easy and cynical observation is to say that Santa rides through New York City to drum up sales in the retail sector. For children who believe in Santa Claus, and in the magic of Christmas, there is no greater treat than to receive letters from Santa.
All year, children try to maintain good behavior so that Santa won’t write their name on the “naughty” list. As Christmas draws near, children begin drafting their own letters to the jolly elf himself, citing situations when they were on their best behavior, and perhaps listing a few toys they want to see under their Christmas tree. Receiving those toys on Christmas morning is validation of Santa’s existence, and helps to keep the magic alive. Gradually though, children’s belief in the wonder of Christmas, of Santa Claus, fades with age. Letters from Santa can help preserve their captivation in everything that Santa stands for.
Throughout history, Santa Claus held many different forms and representations, from the lithe, wizened old man of the past to the plump, jolly elf, as he’s seen in contemporary culture. No matter what his clothes were, or his height or build, Santa always represented, and continues to represent, the very spirit of gift giving. This spirit, the very spirit of Christmas itself (hence one of Santa’s aliases—Father Christmas), comes to life on Christmas morning in the hearts of all who believe in the rewards of giving gifts to loved ones.
For children who believe in Santa Claus, finding that spirit is not difficult. As we grow older and accept reality as we, as adults, see it, we become cynical. How can Santa Claus travel so far in just one night? How does he get into homes without chimneys? How could someone really know what everyone wants? As soon as the belief in Santa Claus begins to diminish, finding that spirit of giving, the true magic of Christmas, becomes increasingly difficult.
Why not keep that magic alive as long as possible for an important child in your life by arranging for him or her to receive letters from Santa? The longer the belief in Santa persists, the stronger the spirit of giving remains, despite the pressures of toy corporations. As children grow older, they will be able to cherish the letters from Santa that rekindled the magic of Christmas, allowing them to enjoy wondering a bit longer.
Each year, a myriad of movies air on television that seek to remind us of the magic found in believing in Santa Claus. From Miracle on 34th Street to The Santa Clause, we are reminded with every generation of the importance of treasuring the connection to the spirit of giving. Imagine a child who may begin to suspect that Santa Claus is a tale. Imagine that child receives letters from Santa. His or her belief will strengthen and in so doing, fortify the very spirit embodied by the celebration of Christmas. By ensuring that your loved ones receive correspondence from Santa Clause, you are ensuring the continuation of a tradition of spirit that transcends generations, languages and cultures alike. The spirit of Christmas is about more than a multitude of brightly wrapped packages beneath boughs of a decorated tree; it’s about expressing joy through causing others to experience happiness.
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