...from beyond the grave. OK, drama aside, my mom briefly kept a journal when I was a little kid. She only wrote a couple of entries a year and then stopped altogether when I was around seven or so, but what's there is priceless to me now that she's gone. I was feeling especially emotional last night and reread the entries, and thought I'd like to share this excerpt (note, "Sazzi" is what my parents [and select others] called me as a kid because that was my first attempt at pronouncing my own name...you know how these things go):
November 5, 1984
Tonight, you asked what I have been dreading for years -- is there a Santa Claus? Who puts all the presents under the tree? And for the first time ever, I have evaded your questions, put you off until tomorrow. How do you answer a small child? Yes Sazzi, there is a Spirit of Christmas which we call "Santa Claus" and he brings love, and gives us all a magical "lift," an awareness of the celebration that commercially celebrates the birth of Christ. We give a gift to the "Jesus" in all of us, we really celebrate with joy the birth of Christ the King, but sometimes we forget why we celebrate it and get too involved in the other side of this Holy day -- the lights and decorations, the cards and the presents, the wrapping paper and the ribbons. Subtle things like Christmas carols play in the background to jog our memories as to why we are going to all this trouble and expense and fuss -- it is a time of year so unique, so special that there must be a "Santa Claus" or it would have all been lost hundreds of years ago. How can I explain that to a 7 year old angel? Sazzi, you must always keep a secret little place in your heart for the childhood fantasies -- because although a lot of these "people," Easter Bunnies, Tooth Fairies and Santa Claus are not really true, they are not really false either -- they belong in the land of Childhood and as long as children believe in them, they will always be alive. Sleep in peace my child, don't worry about things that aren't worth worrying about. Love is all that really is.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Treasure your loved ones.