You’ve reached the age, Christopher, where you doubt Santa Claus exists. Last Christmas you expressed some uncertainty, but decided to keep your options open just in case. But right about now your peers are probably telling you that belief in such things as Santa Claus is ‘childish’ and not the ‘adult’ thing to do. But little do these ‘realists’ know that adults are merely children who owe money.

So you ask me, “Is there a Santa Claus, Dad?”

And I reply, “Yes, Christopher, there still is a Santa Claus and we need him now more than ever before”.

It’s just that he’s harder to find as you grow older.

Santa Claus does exist – as surely as your hopes, your wishes and your dreams exist. He’s the embodiment of the values of family, home and community. Like Christmas Eve itself, he’s magic – not because there’s magic in the world but because children see the world as magic. He’s all that’s good, unselfish and generous in the world, and, in his own way, he is Christmas.

When you were young, Christopher, you received from Santa the explicit gifts of Christmas – toys, candy, and the obligatory sweater. But you also received the implicit gifts of family, home and love.

Will you continue to receive Santa’s gifts? Yes, you will.

But as you grow older, Christopher, you’ll have to work harder to get them. When you were younger, you had to work to be good. As you grow older you’ll have to work to create good. When you were younger, he found you. As you grow older you’ll have to work to find him.

We’re told we live in very bad times – times that suggest logic, cynicism and distrust are the ‘values’ of survival these days and that the intangibles of love, faith and hope are fast disappearing from our communal landscape. But you’ll find that in the final analysis, those abstract intangibles are the only things worth having.

But are they real? Ah, Christopher, there are nothing more real and abiding in this world. Hold strong the intangibles. Ignore the skeptics. These intangibles do serve a practical purpose.

How?

Those who no longer wish, no longer dream. And those who lose their dreams lose their hopes. And those who lose hope are easy to control. The freedom to live, Christopher, comes directly from the freedom to dream. And now, just as you have begun to internalize the values of your parents, you’ll have to internalize the values of Christmas. Your journey of self-discovery has just begun and the wonder, awe and magic of life will always be there if you see and not just look, feel and not just touch, listen and not just hear.

Yes, Christopher, Santa Claus is harder to find when you grow up. But he does exist.

Where, you ask? Come close and I’ll tell you.

As Tinkerbell said to Peter Pan, you’ll find him in between the time you are asleep and the time you are awake – the time when you can still remember your dreams.

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