There is SO a Santa Claus!

December 6, 2005 at 10:21 am (Uncategorized)

Over at Zelda’s place, she recounted how her neighbor’s child took pleasure in telling her eldest, Gwennie, that her parents were the Tooth Fairies and Santa Claus was dead. My friends, I am here to tell you, there is a Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus is not dead.

Let us address the Tooth Fairy question first. The origins of the Tooth Fairy are varied and not well documented but it is a relatively new practice, taking hold around the turn of the 20th century. It is postulated that it began even in older times when witches (ahem) were said to use a small piece of a person (lock of hair, fingernail clipping, tooth, testicle) to use in spells and the Tooth Fairy (fairy obviously meaning “good” sorta like Glenda the Good Witch of the North, and I’m still wondering about the Witch of the South, but that’s another post) took the tooth to protect the child.

Other stories evolved stating it is simply because losing teeth while beginning school can be a frightening thing to a 5 or 6 year old and having a “Tooth Fairy” was a way to minimize this event. Regardless, my grandparents were the Tooth Fairy, and they passed their wings down to their children, who in turn passed their wings down to their children, and so shall we pass it on as our children become parents themselves.

Becoming the Tooth Fairy is as much a rite of passage for parents as losing a tooth is for a child. You’re not just “Mom” or “Dad,” you become a memory, you carry on a tradition, we keep magic alive for our children. Don’t tell me as you take the tiny tooth, which looked so big in your baby’s mouth, and slide the appropriate monetary contribution under the pillow that you don’t pause for a moment and look at your sleeping child, maybe smoothing their hair off of their forehead and thank whatever power you believe in that you had the opportunity to be the Tooth Fairy. *sniff*

Now, on to Santa Claus. Santa Claus is based on the 4th Century bishop of Myra named Nicholas. Saint Nicholas was noted for his extraordinary kindness and generosity, a lover of the poor and the patron saint of children. His image has changed over the years, as well has adding all the elves, reindeer, and that frigid residence at the North Pole, which are things of fantasy. Saint Nicholas exemplified the Christian life and modeled his life after the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Santa Claus, to me, is the non-denominational way to remind ourselves of what is good in the world. Santa Claus lives when you stop and drop change in the Salvation Army bucket, Santa Claus lives when you catch snowflakes on your tongue, when you buy a toy for a needy child, when you look into the sky and follow that red blinking light, wondering . . . could it be?

Santa Claus is for every faith, for every hope, wish, and dream we’ve had. Santa Claus is about embracing our humanity and loving one another.

Gwennie, my darling child, Santa Claus will never die as long as one person on this Earth loves another. Santa Claus will forever live when we hold out our hands to those who need it. Whether we open our homes, our hearts, or our wallets, as long as one person can give selflessly of themselves to make someone else’s life better, Santa Claus will live. May Santa Claus live in your heart forever, as he lives in mine.

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