You must not lose faith in humanity...

1 Dec 2019 by Greg Weber

The myth of Santa Claus is centered around the legend of Saint Nicholas. Nicholas was a bishop in the city of Myra, now a part of southwest Turkey. According to legend, he wanted to help poor young women get husbands, so he left small bags of money on the doorsteps of their homes. This was done in complete secrecy, left as an anonymous gift for the poor to be used as a dowry.

For this, he became known as the patron saint of prostitutes, children and other souls searching for their place in life. Over time, his generosity was remembered by people giving gifts to children in secret on the feast of St. Nicholas, celebrated on December 6 (When I was a child we called it St. Nick Night). His name in English became Claus, after the Dutch Sinterklaas. We left our socks out on the kitchen table on December 6th and were delighted the next morning to find our socks filled with oranges, apples, and candy. Oranges were a rarity in our house, so it must be a saint who divined such a treat once a year for us.

If you're an adult like me, believe in Santa Claus at your own peril. Adults who maintain too many kid-like qualities are met with suspicion. So this Christmas, here's my advice: put some trust in the magic of you - your soul. Santa doesn't exist in the classic sense - not the jolly fat dude in the red-and-white get-up, but in what Santa stands for —how he makes us feel. The lights, the smell of pine, the events and parties to bring us all closer together. We don't get this stuff during the other 11 months of the year - and we miss it! The Christmas movies and songs we indulge in are sappy and clichéd — but they are traditions I can't imagine going without. I believe, every December, you find yourself a little more thankful for the people who matter most in your life. Something special is at work this time of year. It must be Santa Claus!

You probably already believe, maybe without knowing it. I bet this season makes you feel a little more goodwill toward others. I bet you say "Happy Holidays" to strangers or donate money to a good cause. I bet, at this time of year, you're a little more thankful for those you love, you spend a little more time with those you like, and you're even a little more patient with those you don't.

It's not the fat man in the red suit that has me believing in Santa Claus -- it's you. Your attention to kindness, generosity, and goodwill. I believe in Santa Claus because I believe in the good, the humanity, in all people. I see it. I trust it.

Especially this month, but hopefully the entire year, you carry with you Mahatma Gandhi’s wisdom of, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

Happy Holidays.