|Every time you say that Santa doesn't exist, a puppy dies. Fact.|
As I may have mentioned, at this time of year I love to waste hours watching dreadful cheesy Christmas movies. Seriously – quality is not an issue. I’ll watch them all.
Somehow it seems easier in December to suspend disbelief and get all sappy over the magic of flying reindeer and little bells you can only hear if you really and truly believe (Yep, Polar Express is one of my faves).
And it doesn’t take a Christmas pixie to spot the theme that emerges in these “Santa-in-peril-because-nobody-believes-except-one-small-child” tales. This benevolent, all-knowing father figure may hand out some gifts if we behave ourselves (he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!) but in order to receive, we have to believe. A “Santa as God-lite” analogy, if you will. And if there’s one thing movies teach us (apart from the fact that New York is THE place to spend Christmas, not least because you can ice skate in central park with Cary Grant) it’s that faith is the cornerstone of the Santa religion. Kris Kringle is the real thing only because he is BELIEVED to be the real thing.
For some people, the idea of God is just as nonsensical as Père Noel; a fairy tale you outgrow. It’s easy to become disillusioned as you grow up – prayers and letters to Santa go unanswered, cracks appear in the stories, and magic is an illusion that only a fool would believe in.
Well, call me a fool, but I do believe in magic. It’s all around us. Take photographs, for instance. You can explain it to me in whatever scientific way you like, but the fact remains that the MAGIC BOX manages to suck in an image of whatever it is pointed at and record it forever. Likewise telephones – tell me about airwaves til the cows come home; the fact is, I can communicate with someone in another country via a tiny MAGIC TOOL. And don’t even get me started on CDs and the miracle that is music trapped in a tiny disc. It might just blow my mind.
As Jostein Gaarder points out in his novel The Solitaire Mystery, “Nobody would believe this world if they hadn’t spent years getting used to it.”
The very fact that your mind controls your body is pretty stupendous when you think about it – not to mention the fact that your body can HEAL ITSELF of minor injuries. You cut your finger, a couple of days later there isn’t so much as a mark. You’re a freaking terminator!
I remember being astonished when I first realised that trees can heal themselves in a similar way – and it turns out they also talk to each other. Well, sort of – they can communicate via pheromones, managing to warn when a predatory insect is around so they can prepare themselves to make their leaves taste nasty. How clever is that!
And those proponents of the Law of Attraction claim that every word we speak has a magical effect on our vibrations; anyone who’s ever read a self-help book will know the dangers of saying “I’m so sick and tired of x” until it becomes true, but who knew you could magically create your own reality by the power of your mind? (If you’re skeptical – well, just keep doing what you’re doing, if it’s working out for you...)
The Bard put it best; “There are more things in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
As for Jesus, well, I think it was C.S. Lewis (and do correct me if I’m wrong, because I now can’t find the quote) who said “Don’t knock the immaculate conception, because the normal method is strange enough.”
May I quote Jostein Gaarder one more time?
“I have been in outer space many times,” bragged the cosmonaut, “but I have never seen any angels.” The brain surgeon stared in amazement, but then he said “and I have operated on many intelligent brains, but I have never seen a single thought.”
So, I think we can conclude that the world is a pretty wacky place. And we human beings, in our infinite wisdom, have decided what is possible and what is not. As this is based merely on what we have so far seen to be possible, it seems we may not have the exhaustive list worked out just yet.
Of course, nobody REALLY believes in old Saint Nick. (Not even the adults in the movies who apparently don’t notice the strange gifts appearing in their houses every year.) I do fervently wish he was real, though. I’ve always wanted to have an interviewer ask me what my dream job would be, so I could answer honestly “Being an elf in Santa’s workshop,” and I would sound far less bonkers if it was actually an option.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas, y’all. xx