Time marches on. Incredibly it's already December 2010!
In some ways it's so exciting and in others, one can't help wondering how difficult it is - not just for those who need food and shelter, who are serving their country overseas or here in the USA, or those who are struggling to get one gift for their child or children so that they may have a bit of what the retail holidays are about.
There are also those who have lost loved ones, or are struggling to hang onto life. Or there are those who are alone, whether healthy or ill, just trying to connect with another person in some simple way to have someone listen.
Amidst all this are messages of peace on earth, of goodwill toward all, of belief. Everyone is encouraged to believe in Santa Claus. Sak n' Sak is a business and this does help the economy a bit.
Still, belief is more than that. Our family caught the end of 'Polar Express' the other evening on television, maybe falling into the fresh air of the pine on the screen, the crisp sound of footsteps on snow. The story revolves around whether or not there is a real Santa and whether or not, even if the boy sees him, meets him, whether the boy would really believe. There's a shiny silver bell from the many bells that adorn the harness on the great sleigh that is pulled by Santa's reindeer. What happens if the boy loses it? Will the boy still hear it? Will he still believe even when he returns to the work-a-day world?
Of course, he does. It would have a depressing ending if he didn't. I'd be willing to bet that Tom Hanks wouldn't have been involved if it turned out to be unmagical, dismagical - without that special magic that comes with seeing a child light up because there is a belief beyond belief that Santa does exist. It's beautiful to behold. It's the best expression in the world.
But I've been lucky enough to see that expression on faces in other types of situations; 'the cancer is gone!' 'your mother will live to a ripe old age,' 'no surgery necessary,' 'we just found it,' ''we didn't think it would happen, but amazingly it did,' 'he escaped, unscathed.' It would seem to be about life and hope.
Some will say that this is different, it's real. Santa is make-believe, therefore not real. What makes the child's belief wonderful is that - it can't be real, but they believe anyway. The suspension of disbelief; that which all theater is based upon, all fiction.
So, if we all believe in peace on earth, if we hear the bells ring like they did for Christmas one day in WWI, when enemies called a truce and heard each other's happiness and wishes rather than the anger of power of nations. Maybe we'll look in the mirror one day and see that expression on our own faces. Naive? Maybe.
Santa is a wonderful teacher. Maybe belief or disbelief in Santa can serve as a gauge of the tension of the world. No matter the religion, no matter the creed. If there can be a jolly creature of a magical race that brings joy to everyone, who knows what's really good and what's really bad. Maybe the concoction of good and bad in the world will swing toward this wonderful reality. There is perhaps more joy, appreciation & gratitude than there is the will to destroy.
We can recycle the good things, turning them into maybe different, but good things that will make others happy and that can power world magic.
Let me say it now - Have a Great and Magical Holiday Season!