Since the previous post was a bit harsh about the mythology of Santa Claus, let’s turn today to Paul Bibeau of Goblinbooks, who reminds us that, even if this story makes little sense, “The Truth About Santa Claus” is pretty wonderful:
Santa Claus is one of the oldest and largest secret conspiracies which has ever existed anywhere. Countless generations throughout the centuries have worked to keep it alive and pass it on to their kids. And the result is that every year in homes around the world, on the same night, millions of parents perform a complex, coordinated ritual of laying out cookies, milk, reindeer food … of putting their kids to bed and waiting until they are sure they’re asleep, even those older ones who are sharp and suspicious. Then they pull treasure from closets and attics and hidden places. They use a certain kind of wrapping paper. They throw boxes away carefully. They write notes and leave footprints in the snow.
No one has to give the signal. No one holds a rehearsal. No one has to make sure it all happens again in 12 months. Moms and dads have learned it from their parents. Aunts, uncles and friends tell stories to keep it alive. A large portion of the human race makes this happen each Christmas Eve, and all of it is like, well, magic.