When you’re a small child, it takes seemingly forever for Christmas to arrive. When you’re an old dude or dudette, it arrives seemingly at light-speed. It’s a time-phenomenon that Albert Einstein called “Relativity.”
But whether its annual arrival is at a perceived snail’s pace or at a sprinter’s pace, it has arrived right on schedule. And—at least for me—its arrival has, for the past 5-years, been foretold by the likes of Bill O’reilly and Sara Palin bellowing-on incessantly about the “Liberals’ war on Christmas.”
This isn’t about O’reilly or Palin; it’s about Christmas. But for the record, I have a difficult time taking the former seriously, not because I disagree with him—although I often do—but rather because of the absolute moral certainty with which he pontificates.
And as for Sara Palin, the kindest thing I can say about her is that she emits about the same level of intellectual brightness as a standard 25-watt light bulb.
But let me get back to Christmas and the fact that it’s always meant many different things to people of differing philosophies: religious or otherwise. Though to me, personally, it’s always been about the MAGIC.
I’m one of those “old dudes” I referred to above. But I’m also a scientist who believes that certain kinds of magic are good for us. For me, Santa Claus has always been a good kind of magical belief.
Of course, this doesn’t include ALL magical beliefs. In fact, MOST of them are malignant at best.
They account for people believing that Elvis Presley is still alive, or that shyster’s like TV preacher Pat Robinson can heal you by having you touch your TV screen (but send a donation just to be safe), or that he can “PRAY” away hurricanes.
And don’t even get me started on the morons who believe that space aliens routinely kidnap humans and implant microchips in their brains, or the idiots who believe that “trickledown economics” actually works.
These magical beliefs are pure nonsense. And there is an avalanche of other magical thinking—especially in Washington DC—that we need to consign to society’s garbage dumpsters.
But when it comes to the magic of Santa Claus, I treat it much like I treat the existence of God. While I’m not convinced of God’s existence, I can’t absolutely rule it out, either.
On Christmas morning, our local newspaper here in Delaware, The News Journal, will print its traditional editorial, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.—as will, I’m sure, newspapers all across the country.
I still—at 73-years old—become all bubbly-eyed whenever I read it. And while I had no notion, as a small child, of the cynicism and callousness of hordes of realists bobbing about in an ocean of unpleasant realities, I was beside myself in absolute wonder of a jolly old red-suited man who made my day.
But even more importantly, I still recall the wonder on my own young children’s faces at dawn on every one of their Christmas mornings. Again, to believe in Santa Claus is to believe in magic, and that sight was magic at its best.
As well, I recall the many Christmases that, through the efforts of many thoughtful people, I received EVERY thing I had on my wish list.
And as great as it felt, its joy PALES compared to receiving the greatest Christmas gift of all: being able to make Christmas a day to remember for as many other people as possible, and to watch my now grown children doing likewise.
So, all of you cynics, pessimists, self-proclaimed realists, or whatever, you may continue striving in earnest to nix the magic of Santa Claus, but I, for one, absolutely refuse to participate.
Bill O’reilly’s and Sara Palin’s mindless hissy fitting notwithstanding, have a very Happy HOLIDAYS; or if you’d rather, make that a very Merry CHRISTMAS.