The Symbolism of Santa Claus
My wife and I have only loosely weaved the figure of Santa Claus into our Christmas celebrations. Neither of us feel very strongly about Santa one way or another, although we have family members who wouldn’t dream of, in their words, lying to their children.
I grew up a believer and have fond memories, but my wife never really played the game.
The other day at our dinner discussion, our son, who’s six, inquired himself out of any belief he may have held. I don’t remember his exact line of questioning, but as I had no qualms about giving the game away, I answered him without any effort to hide the truth that his parents were really Santa. The boy is now under strict instruction to stay mum around his friends. I imagine he’ll one day let his sister in on the secret, but she’s not yet two.
Santa will remain a figure in our Advent and Christmas discourse, but as an explicit rather than disguised symbol of generosity. He will represent the care and compassion of family and friends, neighbors and strangers. We’ll read and converse about Tolkien’s Letters to Father Christmas. We’ll empty stockings as presents from the North Pole. We will treat story of Santa as a myth, a tale that expresses figurative truth through the fantastical.
Does Santa figure into your holiday? How so? Why or why not?