In the spirit of the holiday season, the other night John and I put on another Christmas movie from the holiday files: The Polar Express. I hadn’t seen the movie in a few years, and like many other movies, I seemed to have forgotten the overall story behind the film. A young boy is whisked away on a magical train on Christmas Eve because he doesn’t believe in Santa – or at least he is skeptical. He never heard the hooves on the roof from Santa’s reindeer etc….It’s really a great movie (and really great in IMAX 3D) and I recommend it for young and old.
Anyways, the movie got me thinking about when I was a kid and how I felt about Christmas and the big man in red. I openly admit that I really liked to believe in Santa for far longer than some kids, but I wasn’t an easy sell in the beginning. I’m a very skeptical person and it takes a fair amount of convincing to sway me to any side of an argument. Because I am so laid back in person, some people may not know this about me. I am always open to having a listen, but if I have any doubt in my mind about a fact I will politely take it all in and keep on doubting it until I am proved otherwise. Some say it’s a vice, but in some cases it’s a virtue.
Back to Santa. Well, while watching the movie, I was suddenly reminded by some of the antics I used to pull as a child. Like many kids, I liked to leave out a snack for Mr.C, a refreshment, and a note. The notes that I left were different though. In the sliver of skepticism that I had around the Santa debate, I started requesting that Santa “sign below” at the bottom of my letters to him. They turned into contracts and evidence for me, and I bet if I knew about it at the time, would have asked to have the letters notarized…just to be sure. I remember a particular Christmas Eve when I was feeling especially unconvinced (whoever knows why should let me know because by this time I had a slew of signed contracts from Santa by now) I remember throwing Mr. C a real curve ball just before I went to bed. In my annual Santa contract, (and boy did I ever think I was clever too) I asked Santa if he could leave me a sleighbell from the reindeer…just to be sure.
Well wouldn’t you know it, the next morning I had a VERY authentic looking, sleighbell, that I was certain even smelled of a barn that reindeer would sleep in!
So I was served a slice of humble pie from Santa, and I felt I had no more reason NOT to believe. I just couldn’t imagine my parents being able to track down such a real sleighbell on such short notice on Christmas Eve, it just wasn’t in the cards.
So I carried on believing….and I honestly can’t remember when I stopped. If you watch the movie maybe you will also be reminded of when you started or stopped believing. The more I think about it, it’s kind of sad when we grow up and stop believing in the magical possibilities that are Santa, the Easter Bunny (which never made sense to me but it was fun chocolatey time) the Toothfairy, being an Astronaut, Saving the World (which is what I claimed to do at a very young age while clad in “save the whales” t-shirts and peace sign earrings).
What kinds of things did you believe in? Or do you still believe in?