I once asked Mr. Flinger what the difference between Jesus and Santa was. He answered, almost immediately, “Weight.”
Later we got to talking about the similarities. Real person? Check! Alive only in people’s hearts? Check! Hotly debated? Check! Giver of gifts? Check!
I mean, sure, the fantasy surrounding Santa Claus goes a wee bit further than the stories around Jesus. I mean, it’s crazy, right? Bearded man living in the North Pole who has reindeer fly him around to drop of presents to every kid’s house? And as grown ups, we’re pretty willing to keep that story going.
But then? I wonder. If we’re perfectly willing to lie to our children about this one tiny thing, this one tiny thing plus the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy and the Binki Fairy and the Eat-Your-Peas-Or-The-Monster-Will-Get-You (no? Just us then?) what’s to keep them from growing up and questioning the whole Jesus gig?
I guess, if you think about it, they’re not so different after all. Each one brings a little hope to people who need it and maybe offer some happiness if you choose to believe in that. And you know? Who am I to say that’s crazy. Bearded man in the north pole or not, commercialized or not, believing in Jesus or not, there are still great lessons to be taught here, right?
Like “eat cookies at every single house once a year will get you fat” and “fasting in the desert for 40 days will slim you right up.”
Then, of course, there’s the whole love one another and celebrate life and happiness and hope. And no matter what you believe, that’s not a bad message to have. Don’t you think?
p.s. I’ll update the second in the series boosting your reader’s traffic soon. In the mean time, I’m securing my place in hell.