It seems that every year the children who stop believing in Santa Claus are getting younger. Why do parents feel as though this is a good thing? Why is it looked upon as acceptable to take away the glimmer of hope, and love of magic, from our youth? The feeling that anything is possible is a boundless one, and a gift we should want for every young soul.
True, Santa Claus is not the reason for the holiday. He is a commercial twist to the celebration. However, if you look back into history, Santa Claus is a symbol of hope and love. So why do so many adults feel as though it is a bad thing to believe in hope and love? Why would they want to take this innocence of childhood away from our future. Isn't there enough "real world" in our lives? It isn't as though the adults who take this believing from their children, aren't into the commercialism of the holiday. It isn't as though they have a strong religious "Only" view of the season.
It is a sad day when a child comes home from school to tell their mom that, "So-n-so doesn't believe in Santa, and said I am a baby because I do." This cynicism comes from adults, and is mimicked by our youth. Not because they don't want to believe, because the hope for believing was taken from them.
Santa Claus visits those who believe in ways that are least expected. He sometimes visits through the love of a stranger, donating to those in need. Sometimes it is just his spirit that visits the heart of the believer, leaving that individual with HOPE. Hope for something better, courage to be strong, love for their neighbors, and Faith for the future.
What greater gift to give our youth than to let them hear you say, "I believe in Santa Claus." What you are really telling them is, "I believe in Hope, Magic, Faith, and Love. I believe in endless possibilities for your future." This year give that gift to your little ones. What is the acceptable age to continue this believing, you ask? Anyone who lets the spirit of youth live in their hearts. Youth can be alive in someone who is 100. Why become a hard hearted realist too soon?