Image via Wikipedia"Do you really believe in Santa Claus?" my oldest son has asked me for the past three years.
And the answer is always "Yes!" Or at least, I want to believe. It is more fun to suspend disbelief than not. My ten year old chooses to have fun, and my five year old doesn't have to suspend anything: she knows. My eight year old is somewhere in between.
A post-Christmas blog about Santa ? How passé, you are probably thinking.
Yet this time of the year never fails to strengthen my belief that we are what we perceive. This is what I am most curious about with my friends, family and new people that I meet: how do you view the world? It's not a question of religion.
My eight year old son, when he hasn't been playing in the snow, has been running around the house with a special pair of glasses that his grandmother in North Dakota sent him. These glasses hold promises of rainbows - you put them on, look at a light, and the world becomes a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors. Quite an interesting spin on the ole "rose-tinted glasses" phenomenon.
In my youth I used to wear figurative rose-tinted glasses - it was like being a fraudulent Pollyanna. But whenever I got shot by the slings and arrows of life, I would rip them off, giving myself a dose of hard "reality", which would inevitably send me on a frantic search for those glasses again. You see the tautological conundrum!
As an adult I am constantly seeking balance between these two ways of looking at the world, and of course have found multiple others. (You all know how obsessed I am with mysticism!) Rose-tinted glasses don't have to be what we put on when we don't want to deal with reality. Neither does religion, Santa Claus, spirituality.
And somebody somewhere is always accusing religion of being the opiate of the masses. (Karl Marx)
But it is what helps us to see the world in all of it's glory, both dark and light. My beliefs help me to see the cup as half-full, and help me to stay grateful for what I do have instead of focusing on what I don't.
This is what I wish for myself and for everybody this solstice/ Christmas/ New Year: gratitude and acceptance, with a generous sprinkle of the fun of Santa Claus, no matter where your beliefs lie.