Embracing the Magic of Belief: Navigating the Santa Dilemma

Tis the Season:

In a world filled with technology and too much information, the innocence of childhood often collides with reality sooner than we anticipate. Among the casualties of this collision is the cherished belief in mystical beings like Santa Claus.

A few days ago, my seven-year-old came home asking if Santa Claus was real. Knowing that second grade is a minefield that must be carefully navigated, I probed with a few questions to understand how this untimely revelation came to be.

My son explained that a schoolboy teased him and others for believing in Santa. Apparently, the boy’s father told him Santa was not real, and he felt it was his moral obligation to ruin it for the other children.

Sure, it is easy to say that Santa Claus doesn’t exist because as children grow older, external influences like friends at school, social media, and the pervasive culture of skepticism can lead them to question and eventually abandon these fantastical beliefs. But what if, in the act of ceasing to believe, they unknowingly close the door to experiencing the magic these entities embody?

The Power of Belief:

The concept of belief holds a unique power, especially in the realm of mystical creatures. Santa Claus, the jolly figure known for delivering joy and gifts on Christmas Eve, thrives on the fervent belief of children. Believing in magical figures like Santa Claus fosters a sense of wonder, excitement, and joy that is unique to these formative years.

There’s an undeniable enchantment in holding onto these beliefs. They serve as gateways to a world where magic, wonder, and the impossible are not just permissible but encouraged. There’s beauty in the innocence of believing without tangible proof, in trusting the unseen, and in embracing the unknown.

Imagination is a powerful force that fuels creativity and innovation. It is the gateway to problem-solving, critical thinking, and the ability to envision a better, more fantastical world.

Believing to See:

But what if there’s more to this than meets the eye? What if the magic of these mystical beings lies dormant, waiting for the right heart and mind to reawaken it? The essence of these entities may be tied to belief itself. Could it be that by letting go of our disbelief, we open ourselves to experiences beyond our comprehension?

Consider the whispers of folklore and tales passed down through generations. Stories abound of individuals encountering mystical creatures when their belief was steadfast and unyielding. Whether it’s a glimpse of Santa on a snowy night or a fairy flitting through the garden, these encounters seem reserved for those who genuinely believe.

Preserving the Magic:

After listening to him express his concerns over the veracity of the Santa myth, I finally responded:

“Santa Claus, like all mystical creatures, lives in a place that can only be accessed by imagination and a willingness to believe. Since your friend does not believe, Santa will not reveal himself.”

My son took this in before responding cleverly, “But Santa hasn’t revealed himself to me either.”

This kid is good, I thought. I didn’t want him to go down the road of non-belief. Not at seven. At seven, I still wanted to witness the joy and delight of Christmas trees, stockings, cookies, and milk. I wanted to run around with that ridiculous Elf on the Shelf for at least a couple of years before I could finally retire it. Most importantly, I didn’t want the spark of magic within his heart to be extinguished.

“We have never seen god, angels, or Jesus, but we know they’re real, right?”

He nodded as I continued, “We can’t always SEE beings in other realms, but there is evidence of them. And that evidence lies in our traditions, stories, and most importantly, our hearts, where the great knowing occurs.

He raised his eyebrow….too deep. I put down my coffee and got right to it.

“Do YOU believe?

My son looked up at me with large blue eyes and nodded enthusiastically, “Yes! I believe.”

“Then Santa will reveal himself to you. And so will all beings from other realms. Because only those who truly BELIEVE can access them.”

Satisfied with my answer, he ran off to play Nintendo.

Nurturing  Magical Thinking:

The importance of fostering belief in the magic of mystical beings extends beyond mere folklore. It nurtures imagination, empathy, and a sense of wonder in children that carries into adulthood. It teaches them to see beyond the surface, to appreciate the intangible, and to seek magic in the everyday.

Encouraging children to hold onto these beliefs isn’t about falsehoods or deception; it’s about preserving the essence of wonder and curiosity. It’s about allowing them to revel in the joy of imagination, to see the world through the lens of possibilities rather than limitations.

Those Who Don’t Believe in Magic Will Never Find It

-Roald Dahl

The Pursuit of Magic:

It’s not easy to keep magic alive in our children, especially living in a world that robs them of their innocence far too soon. While it may be easy to throw in the towel and acquiesce to the nonbelievers, we must remember that the spiritual journey takes place in a realm beyond imagination, where dreams and reality meet through faith.  A place we call the heart.

Perhaps, in our pursuit of rationality and evidence, we’ve overlooked the significance of this fact. Maybe the true magic of mystical beings lies not in their physical existence but in the transformation they bring to our lives when we wholeheartedly believe. And perhaps, just perhaps, by believing with all our hearts, we invite these enchanting entities to reveal themselves to us in ways we never thought possible.

After all, sometimes, the most extraordinary things in life are the ones we can’t explain but can only experience through the eyes of belief.

Keep Seeking,


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