Christmas, for me, brings back childhood memories when the whole festival was centered around the arrival of Santa. I was seldom bothered about the Christmas decorations; dad looked after that. I was never too critical about the Christmas food; mom planned for it and also had her guests' list ready.
I looked forward to the Christmas party and gifts; but something that I most eagerly waited for, was the arrival of Santa Claus. A lot of excitement and surprise were associated with his arrival. All I used to be worried about is whether I would have my stocking ready and hang it in my room for Santa to drop in a gift into it. I used to ready it myself.
I still remember, it used to be a beautiful red and white stocking, well-decorated, hung at my room's window, the night before Christmas. I used to launder it myself and decorate it so that Santa would like it. I also remember using sparkling colored decorations for the stocking. I believed, Santa would find them attractive. I always wanted him to visit my place before visiting any other house in the neighborhood. I believed this would fetch me the most precious and the best of gifts from his goody bag. I always thought of myself as being his favorite as I always got what I wanted most.
Santa Claus! He was someone so much like my grandpa, a sweet and generous man. Like most other children, I pictured him in a bright red and snowy white dress, riding on a sledge. He must be old, I thought, which is why he wore specs and had a snow white beard. I wondered how he managed to ride a sledge and climb down chimneys. I admired his skill of finding houses where children lived and cleverly dropping a nice gift into the stockings that kids hung. I could never figure out how he could do all this without being seen even once!
There was a secret longing to see him, meet him; along with a strange kind of fear of losing the thrill in not seeing him. I feared seeing him as I did not want to lose the excitement in never having met him at all... It was strange yet funny to want and not want to meet him; both at the same time. I used to hang the stocking outside my room window and get what I wanted. And this happened every single year.
As years passed by, I began to question myself... did Santa really come every year? How could he just come and go every single year and not get noticed by absolutely anyone? How could he read my mind correctly every time and gift me exactly what I wanted? How could there be a 'Santa', who is so very kind to kids every single year? How could someone be so selfless? Why would someone keep gifting people for no specific reason?
These whys and hows had started eclipsing my belief in Santa and all the good in the world that he symbolized; my childhood had started slipping away. Yes, I had stopped believing in Santa Claus. By then, I had come to know that it was either my mom or dad who gifted me every Christmas, and not Santa. It wasn't Santa who came down through the chimney to gift me. It was my mom who sneaked into my room after I was fast asleep and placed a nice gift in my stocking. Although I still looked forward to receiving Christmas gifts, the excitement was not the same. I appreciated the gifts mom and dad bought every Christmas, but there was not much surprise and excitement left in the whole affair. Yes, Christmas gifts had become a yearly 'affair'.
As time went by, I derived a new meaning of Santa Claus. "Who is Santa?" if you ask me today, I will say, Santa is no mortal human being; he symbolizes 'immortal' hope; the hope that never dies. In fact, hope never dies; it's we who lose it. And that's so much like Santa, who we stop believing in as we grow old; it's we who 'lose' him.
He does not cease to exist. He exists in the fantasies that we sometimes need to live in, to stay away from life's stark realities. Santa symbolizes the 'impossibles', we seldom dare to aspire for. He symbolizes miracles, we hardly believe in. Today, most of us have stopped believing that dreams can come true and that things can have happy endings. And to restore all that's lost, Santa will have to come back! He will have to come and make the world understand that hope never dies; that even impossible dreams can come true; that truth isn't always bitter; and that life can be a fairytale!
Today, people have stopped believing in the power of good; they do not believe in concepts like 'dream come true' and 'happily ever after'. We think they are only a part of fiction. But we often fail to understand that there is so much positivity in pursuing impossible dreams. They may or may not come true (why care?) but their pursuit is wonderful!
There's so much positivity in living in fantasies once in a while. There's something so much positive about looking only at the positives in life; there's no harm in being blindfolded to the negativities around. Why not wait for a happy ending rather than cribbing about whether life will have one! How about never losing hope rather than feeling hopeless all the time? Why let the outside world dampen our enthusiasm about living? Why not be spirited, motivated, and happy from within? And why let anything shatter our belief in the good? Our belief in he who personifies all the positives; Santa Claus!
Believing in the existence of Santa Claus and waiting for him with the eagerness of a child is what each of us needs to do; as believing in him is believing in the strength of good. Believing in him is believing that hope never dies.
Come Santa, come this Christmas. Rekindle hope in our minds; re-instill in our minds the belief in happy endings; restore in us, the courage to dream, and the patience to pursue those dreams. Help us find what we often keep losing - hope. Help us recover from the losses in positivity. Come Santa, I shall wait for you this Christmas. Visit every house and reach every heart. You are awaited!