My three sisters and I went to live with my grandmother when I was five and a half years old. Before that we never went to church. My parents were not particularly religious and I don’t remember Christmas with them. I have no memories of a tree or presents. When we went to the small parochial district of Cheapside, I was required to attend Mizpah Moravian Church. I learned about the nativity (the birth of Jesus) this is where the acting and singing bug took hold of me. I also learned about Santa Claus. We read about the magical man who flew threw the air on a sled drawn by reindeer and of course the famous red nosed Rudolf. Based on the stories I read and heard, Santa needed snow to land and take off in his sled. He also needed a fireplace. I bought into the magic until my second Christmas with my grandparents.
Rumor went around that Santa was coming to our village and would bring presents for all the children. I wondered how this would happen. We had no snow – it was hot in December – even in the shade. How were Santa’s reindeers going to land? I could not ask the adults because I was given a stiff beating the last time I asked a question that they were incapable of answering. So I waited. We were dressed up like all the other children. Our hairs were combed like it was a Sunday. Our grandmother shepherded all four of us girls, me being the eldest carried my baby sister out to Cross Roads. The whole village turned up. Adults and children joined in the infectious magic of seeing Santa for the first time. I looked at the sky while everyone looked to the up the road to the west.
One of the boys who kept running into the road to check for signs of Santa, yelled, “He is coming! Santa is coming!”
We all lunged into the road. All I could see was a cloud of dust. No reindeers, no sled – no Santa. The cloud of dust grew larger and closer and everyone cheered. To my disappointment, there was Santa not even the white twinkling one in the pictures, on his sled latched with ropes to the roof of a beaten up old car which went so fast he was a blur as the car whisked around the hairpin turn. The fake Santa threw small brown paper bags filled with candy at us. People scrambled in the dust to pick up the candy. I lost my belief in our modern day Santa who instills a frenzy of hope and disappointment from presents. As a mother I went along with the farce for my children. Although it turns out as my older daughter told me later that she knew that Santa wasn’t real from early on. She kept up with the farce for her father’s and my sake. Now that’s the Spirit of Christmas. I believe the spirit of Christmas exists every day in all of us. There are fake Santas all over the world and there are genuine saintly figures as well.
In this holiday season, May you enjoy the charm that gathering families and friends together brings. May you find hope and peace that regenerates throughout the coming year. May the energy of the Christ Consciousness remain a part of all you do on this planet in your own personal life and out in the world.