Friday, December 24, 2010

Naughty or Nice

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

As kids my parents used this ploy for the entire month of December. Santa would know our behavior.  He saw what no one else did. We might be able to lie to the rest of the world or at least our parents, but Santa knew. He was our conscience. He was an omnipresent figure much in the way we were taught God was, except Santa dressed in red and white suits and always seemed to be smiling and God  preferred long flowing robes with a much more serious look on his face.

But they both did have a thing for soft white beards. And they both seemed obsessed with our behavior.

Our  truth as far as Santa was concerned would be evidenced in what lay under the tree on Christmas morning. As for God, well we had an entire lifetime instead of just the month of December to get things right.

The bro and I, intent on being nice enough for Santa
For me the gig was up the Christmas Eve I spotted my father from my bedroom window loaded down with wrapped gifts that had been stored in the garage behind the apartments we lived in.

I had been on to something for a while and now I had my proof !  I could be naughty or nice and "Santa" was still going to show up. But I kept my secret quiet for a while longer. Besides, my little brother, never as suspicious as I, still thought Santa was real. My young self thought he deserved to believe a little longer.

While I felt rather pleased  that I had been right about this Santa thing being a hoax I was a little disappointed to discover my magical figure did not really exist. I liked the idea of magic. I wanted to believe in magic. Being told I needed to be 'nice' to get my reward made being 'naughty' that much more delicious.

But this was my first smack in my young head that maybe magic was not real. Maybe believing in something you couldn't see was to be reserved for young, innocent and unworldly minds. If I was going to grow up and succeed in the world I'd have to start "getting a grip" on what was "real" and what was not. I had to dismiss this idea of magic. Maybe being "nice" was not going to get me anywhere. And then it brought up the other question, if Santa was not real, did the same thing hold true for that other unseen personage, God?

I spent a lot of years not really believing, demanding proof for all I saw and wanted. I wanted concrete examples of how things were going to happen. I wanted to know the steps I needed to take. I had to get serious, never mind "naughty or nice".  I was so intent on the 'truth' that I often failed to see when the magic did show up.

I don't know the time or place I switched back, but I did. I started to believe again. In Santa Claus and in a power greater than myself. And when I did I started to notice the miracles that I could create, simply by believing and trusting in something or someone more powerful than me. Miraculously, it seemed being a little "naughty" did not have any bearing on what showed up. In fact, sometimes  a little mischievous fun  was exactly what was needed to create the magic.

So yes, this year I've been a little of both, naughty and nice.  How about you?

Have you been naughty or nice?
Do you still believe?
Have you created some magic this season?

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