12375957_1215309631819146_2660460051074400194_nSanta Claus is a busy guy. He needs a little extra help, especially nearing Christmas. That’s why Nate, my endearing husband, steps in to make a few visits on behalf of the big guy. Year after year he begrudgingly gets suited up and year after year he’s blown away at the joy the red suit brings to everyone and is glad for the experience.

Yesterday, a playgroup I’m in, visited an assisted living facility so our little ones could visit with the residents. Santa came along too. I once again realized, it doesn’t matter your age, just as everyone loves babies, everyone loves Santa also.

Santa Claus is just one facet of Christmas but I believe an important one. The tradition comes from a variety of different cultures’ stories and means different things for different people. Today’s Santa has been heavily commercialized and inflated but he has evolved into a new life of his own that I am happy to see on parade.

Santa represents a kind of magic that comes when you believe in something and your mind lets you conceive something you couldn’t think to be true. This is easy when you’re little, but gets more difficult as we grow up. This believing makes use of the imagination and brings back a lost innocence we normally only reserve for children (cue The Polar Express).

Santa can bring hope, comfort and perhaps even a stability that’s found in practiced tradition. He’s like a grandpa who will be there year after year, even as you grow old yourself.

He brings smiles to faces, and that warm tingly feeling to our hearts. In a time when there is so much darkness, that light is so much of what Christmas is all about.

I don’t know yet how we’ll convey the tradition of Santa with Karson and Lucy. Although I admit I look forward to a time when I can use the “You better be good, Santa’s watching!” bribe, I hope Santa will mean a lot more than the coming of presents. Santa is a special character and as we witnessed yesterday, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Although I haven’t met the real Santa Claus, I know he’s real. He lives on in my heart and in Nate’s too. He’ll live on in our children and perhaps some of the people we visited yesterday as well.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you be surrounded by loved ones, the spirit of Christmas and have faith and hope in your heart.