Friday, December 02, 2011

Yes, Georgia, there is a Santa Claus.

There's a nasty rumor going around this year. I don't know if you've heard it, it troubles me to even type it.

There are some people saying Santa Claus isn't real.

Of course Santa is real, he sells more Coca Cola than ANYONE.

To come from a news anchor, of all sources! We're supposed to trust our news, and they let this nonsense be said on live television? I'm outraged.

I remember well the kids on the playground who were intent on convincing me there was no such thing as Santa. They were the same kids who were too old for snow angels and wishing on stars. I bet their lives have been just a ton of fun. No, really, if they started out middle aged in third grade I bet they only got more exciting as the years went on.

People who say Santa isn't real usually have something to prove. And for what? They probably don't take much stock in rainbows or hugs either.

Every morning I start my day with a blank piece of paper. I could hold it up and tell you, “There's an otter juggling starfish in this paper.” And you might not believe me, because you can't see it yet. Those boring, simple jerks on the playground would assure you there's nothing there, but they wouldn't have counted on me.

I can see it. It's right there. After tracing it with some pencil and illuminating it with splashes of paint you can see it too. Now we both see it, and the jerk on the playground is onto their next point to prove. We made something new, and they held onto the same tragic nothing they came in with.

Many people focus on disproving because they have nothing new to offer. I could take away fun from everything too, but it's more enjoyable to discuss what could be than what is. It's how all the best stories were written. It's how our country came into existence. It's how slavery ended and womens' rights began.

Once upon a time no one believed in flying machines, the ability to see something thousands of miles away, or light without fire. Now we have airplanes, television, and electricity. We have those things thanks to the people who could see them, not the people who refused to believe in more than what they could touch.

Faith, imagination, and believing move our world forward. No one should outgrow the possibility that something they can't prove must not be there to prove. How would we have discovered germs? Or cells? Electrons? Distant planets and itty bitty protons all existed beyond our sight and beyond our reach, but they were there long before we declared them real.

The best scientists understand the importance of dreaming the impossible. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Limiting a child's imagination is one of the worst things I can think of. There's no expiration date on loving stories or hoping for miracles. There's no deadline to growing up, as long as you're not hurting anyone or being a weird burden mooching on a couch. Plenty of functioning adults believe in Santa Claus (and God, true love, luck, fate, weathermen, and vaccines). I can't tell you how many times I was threatened with bleak visions of what adulthood would bring. Well guess what? I prefer socks with penguins on them. I hate milk and I don't write in cursive. I never use an indoor voice and I do heat the neighborhood.

I run with scissors all the time. It's the fastest way to travel with scissors!

There are enough cynical people, they can have only what they can prove. Our world is more fun.

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