Sometimes, the question comes up, and my answer remains, “Santa is real.”
I didn’t come to this realization quickly. I had to go through the bumps and bruises and of childhood, have my children, and experience life’s best and worst moments.
I was never friends with Virginia O’Hanlon. I didn’t have to be to understand the importance of believing. A question she asked at eight years old became the most printed editorial in the world, and yet the reply by New York Sun’s newsman Francis Pharcellus Church, gave us all cause to 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. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
It seems that Santa is within us all. Generation after generation has shared the magic of Santa. He can be found in books, in movies, on television.
Between my first born and my last, the internet came into play. It has tried to snuff out the magic of the Jolly Elf with misinformation.
I’m joining Macy’s #SantaProject to share my belief in Santa and the Christmas spirit. I want Santa to live on for future generations.
When I was a child, I remember my parents telling me a surprise awaited. I was giddy all day with great anticipation.
After school, we joined my siblings and, for the first time in my life, I came face to face with live reindeer and Santa and his wife, Mrs. Claus!
Macy’s plays such a joyous part in my family’s holidays. It all starts with our the official kick-off to the holiday season, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® followed by the holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street.
Macy’s also is the place my kiddos deliver their letters to Santa. The Santa Project is part of Macy’s Believe campaign, which benefits Make-A-Wish®. Customers can drop their letters to Santa at Macy’s or send digitally at macys.com/believe. For every letter collected in-store or online, Macy’s will donate $1, up to $1 million, to Make-A-Wish, the organization that grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Then, on one undisclosed, day in between, Santa’s bell can be heard, just before he arrives unannounced.
I’ve watched as my children experience tremendous joy.
I’ve witnessed him pulling gifts from his big black bag.
He has read to my children and shared the importance of believing and doing for others unconditionally.
As I tuck my kiddos into bed, they imagine how reindeer fly, how a fat man gets down a narrow chimney. They have unselfishly offered their cookies to a plate for Santa.
I have witnessed Santa in my children, as they save and stretch their money to include their siblings and school mates in gifting. They have come to know the joy of serving others.
They have come to know the joy of helping others.
Our family has our own Santa Project. Each year, we each nominate a family to surprise. Once we choose a family, we make gifts and buy gifts for the family and then in Santa-Stealth we deliver the gifts each night on their doorstep. The object is not to get caught.
I have fond memories of our Santa Project. My favorite, the year my boys created reindeer using glass bottles of Sprite. The made a Santa sleigh, complete with a plush Santa Claus and small gifts, individually wrapped, and tucked with love into the back of the sleigh. A note read: “May Your Christmas Be Merry and Sprite.”
The best part of the memory, watching my boys creep to the porch, Sprite bottles clinking, and clanging. The love I witnessed as they took their time, knowing the family was home, as they united the Sprite reindeer with red thread and jingle bells.
When it was all set up, they loudly hollered, “Ho-Ho-Ho!” hit the doorbell and ran!
From a parked car, at the other end of the cul-de-sac, I watched as one cleared the yard, leaving the other behind. That child skillfully hid behind the wheels of the car in the driveway and navigated his way back and forth around the car as the children came to the car.
When the coast was clear, the child left behind, joined us exclaiming, “Dude! Santa has a tough job!”
According to a recent Ipsos survey*, two out of three people with kids in the home (66 percent) think it is important to believe in Santa (54 percent of all U.S. adults). However, 44 percent of U.S. adults think that belief is decreasing, versus just 8 percent who believe it is increasing.
At our house, we believe in Santa. He is the core of our family traditions. He is part of our holiday rituals.
He is generous.
Join The Santa Project
Here’s how to get involved:
- Create a response that will help fill the Internet with belief, in the form of a short message, photo or video on why you believe in Santa and the spirit of the holiday season (filmed via smartphone, held sideways in landscape format)
- Post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube with #SantaProject
- Encourage your family and friends to join the movement and spread the spirit of belief
Macy’s will feature select video responses in a Macy’s television spot in December.
Learn more about The Santa Project. The site features a counter that will keep track of expressions of belief throughout the holiday season, including an updated list of Top 10 states in the country that are showing the most belief via social media, letters to Santa, visits to Santa at Macy’s Santaland, and visits to macys.com/believe.
*This survey was conducted by Ipsos on Oct. 28, 2016, on behalf of Macy’s. For the study, a sample of 1,006 U.S. adults over the age of 18 was interviewed online, in English, including 328 adults who have children under the age of 18. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for all respondents surveyed, and 6.2 percentage points for parents.
This Post is brought to you by Macy’s, my belief in Santa is all my own.