I know that Christmas was almost a month ago but the Santa Spottings go on. Since December 25th, I've had my hair cut and my beard trimmed so at least in my mind, I don't currently feel like Santa.
As I was putting my purchases from COSTCO into my trunk, a young couple and their five or six year old child walked by. The child pulled on his father's coat sleeve and said something I could not hear. As a result of the pull, the father shouted to me, "Nice beard!"
I thanked him and replied, "Did I hear something about Santa?" to which the child hid in shyness behind his father's coat and they moved down the lane towards the store.
I was tickled and made a note to use the experience as a post. So here it is. But then I got to thinking, "Why is being identified with Santa such a joy to me?"
I don't really behave any differently than I usually do although at times during the season I do add to the "role" when approached. "Have you been a good little boy?" or "Have you been naughty or nice. What, I have my list here somewhere," while sorting through my pocket.
Santa, to me, represents a non-denominational aspect of Christmas. While he may have begun life as a Saint, I think that his appeal and his image are mostly universal rather than religious. He represents magic, joy, love, and of course gifts. He meets my nurturing needs without my really having to do anything but look the role.
Santa Claus personifies the good in people. Does he really exist? I believe so if only in concept. It is loving to give. It is joyful to create happiness. So I do BELIEVE!