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  • Susie Csorsz Brown

I believe

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You know what is amazing about children? They see things and imagine things that are magical. They believe in things that are not tangible. Lack of tangibility does not make them less real. As we get older, supposedly but not necessarily wiser, we start to see less and less the shades of grey, and less capable are we to think of ‘what if’ or What may be and other magical notions. Is it such a bad thing to believe in magic, in fairy tales and in wonder? Methinks not.

The beauty of Santa is the beauty of believing in good. In giving. In the good faith of others. Santa IS the holiday spirit, the family togetherness and feel-good moments that we love so much about the holiday season. The beauty of Santa is that his magic does not need to be restricted to only December – who wouldn’t want to experience holiday magic any time of the year? Why can’t we be kind, happy and generous year-round? Would that be possible?

5 ways to keep the holiday magic year round:

1. Gratitude – Yes, one side of Christmas and the holiday season is all about getting. It’s about gimme gimme gimme, and what is under the tree. But try, if you can, to focus on the flip side: how amazing is it to receive a generous gesture from a person who took the time to find or make just the right thing just for you? Savor that thought. It might be your favorite cookie, an e-certificate or even a hug, but it is most likely heart-felt and given with the best of intentions. So say thank you. And mean it.

2. Generosity – Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could take the gift of giving and spread it over the year? Every week, think of what you could give or do for others. Do with others in mind. Cook for others. Buy two of something and share it. Pay for someone’s late fee or taxi fare. Include others in your Friday dinner or regular lunch out. Invite the quiet girl to join you. Give someone a lift to the grocery store. Lend your book to a friend. Pay for the next car’s toll. Buy an extra cookie for someone else. Pay a gesture of kindness towards you forward towards another.

3. Kindness – Besides generosity and having a pleasant disposition, what is kindness? I view it as the quality of having a concern for others. It is the glue that makes humans humankind. It is our ability to look out for one another, and to reach out to other living things, be they people, pets, or other living creatures. It’s doing good just because and connecting with others without thought to benefit to yourself. The existence of the quality of kindness is one of the greatest predictors of relationships (friendship, marriage, etc) that flourish. Kindness towards others is actually good for your health and well-being. Reachig out, and doing for others is, in turn, good for you, too. Another reason to try and reach out.

4. Admiring and respecting beauty – Don’t just walk around; walk around and SEE what is around you. Everywhere there is something to admire and appreciate. Show your kids what you appreciate and what you enjoy; you may be showing them something new. Let them do the same for you: kids see some much beauty in what we adults might typically consider mundane. Let me tell you, though, I have learned so much from see things through my kids’ eyes. They really are so very much more observant about many things. They see connections I am blind to, and they notice beauty where I see none. I appreciate so much when they help me color my life with their own view of appreciation and color. Seeing things through their eyes – seeing things through another’s eyes – is a splendid way to appreciate more.

5. Acceptance – There is no one right way, no one right attitude, no one picture of beauty, no one thing that works for every person. Every group of people has at one time or another done injustices to others; don’t judge them. Just don’t be like them. Learn from their mistakes, and their bad fortune. Instead of making blanket assumptions about people based on skin color, religious preference or group affiliation, make a conscious effort to see each person for the individual they are, and get to know them. You will see beauty you never knew existed, just by seeing below the skin surface.

You want to know where Santa exists? Everywhere. And nowhere. To find him, you have to look in your heart and into the heart of others. Make a practice of doing that. The more and more who do that, then the more and more the holiday magic really WILL exist year-round. Because yes, Virginia, I do believe in Santa Claus. I do believe in the magic of Christmas.

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