Believing in Santa takes a little faith. Being a Christian takes a lot of faith. Maybe that’s why Jesus said we should be more like children.
Remember those times when you or your children stopped believing in Santa. I certainly do. I don’t remember the exact sequence of events, but I remember when Caroline started to have doubts about Santa, I believe it was Walter who told her to keep her doubts to herself. “Rebecca still believes,” he said and that was enough to keep us all quiet about Santa. When Kelley came around, “Hush, Rebecca still believes” was by then a permanent part of our family’s Christmas. It continues to this day. When Will and Jake started to tell me about the “real Santa”, I told them to be quiet – “Rebecca still believes.” The whole family shook their head in agreement.
Funny thing, whenever the phrase “Rebecca believes” was uttered Kelley, Kate, their cousins, Will, Jake, down the line didn’t make fun of her belief. Instead she garnered new respect. “How cool,” was the reaction. It was as if her faith in Santa was something they wished they shared. They wanted to believe too, and admired someone who hadn’t lost her faith. It got each of them past those who want to put a damper on Christmas and on to all of its magnificent joy.
Don’t you think that’s why we read about the saints, admire people whose faith seems unshakeable, and gravitate toward words, music, and ritual that enforce belief. There is a part of each of us that wants to believe. No matter how many attacks of logic, evidence to the contrary, and personal tragedies, we still have faith. “Rebecca still believes” has come to mean more than Santa Claus to me. It gets me past my doubts, and on to joy that “believing” brings every day of the year. How cool.