Indigo Insights

Sunday, December 28, 2003
This beautiful email from the heart was lost in the deluge of emails that arrived while I was away for Christmas. It would have been nice to post it on Christmas Day, but I only just found it today, a few minutes ago, in fact. Read it, please. It will make the warmth of Christmas last even longer for you.


Posted by Doc Farmer
Wednesday, December 24, 2003

When I was eight years old, my family moved from California to Indiana. My first winter in real snow. My first time dealing with sub-zero temperatures. My first warning not to put my tongue on a metal bar or pole in sub-zero temperatures. My immediately trying it out and finding, by golly, they were right.

It’s also a year that I got into arguments with my schoolmates. I insisted that Santa was real. They laughed at me, and made fun of me, called me a baby and other childhood insults. Well, my dad got wind of this. So he took me up to the attic where my sisters slept (we were living in the upstairs flat of a relative, prior to getting our first (and only) house. He sat me down. I was always scared when he did that – I always got the feeling I had done something wrong. I usually had. After all, I’m the one they had to teach, before going to my first Kindergarten class, that my first name really wasn’t ''dammit.'' But Dad looked at me, with a serious and sad look on his face. He then, in a quiet voice, told me that there really was no Santa Claus.

I looked in his eyes. I said, ''Okay'' and we left it at that.

And that was the first time, indeed the only time, that my Father ever lied to me.

Oh, I know why he said it. He didn’t want me getting beat up, or getting my feelings hurt by the other kids (who, as we all know, can be incredibly cruel). And after that point, I spouted the party line that Santa wasn’t real. I had to humor my dad, after all. He didn’t want me having problems, and I appreciated that.

But I never stopped believing in Santa.

Now, is there a workshop at the North Pole? Probably not, especially since it’s on an ice shelf. Not exactly a stable foundation for a toy industrial complex. Besides, he can probably get better deals from manufacturers south of his perceived location--elves may not need much pay, but they’ll ruin you in the cost of mince pies, cookies, belled shoes and felt clothing.

Every year, about this time, some quantum physicist or other person with WAY too much time on their hands will explain exactly why Santa can’t possibly exist. Too much travel time involved. Too many houses to visit. Too much tonnage for gifts. Aerodynamic properties of reindeer. The Earth’s rotation, time zone vagaries, naughty/nice calculations, winter weather conditions vs. glowing red noses, etc.

And yet, they always forget the most important part of any equation involving the reality that is Santa Claus.


Now, those of the geekish persuasion will pooh-pooh the existence of magic. This from people who dress up as Gandalf and keep going to see the Lord Of The Rings trilogy over and over and over again. But magic is an essential part of Christmas. Indeed, it is an essential part of life. People forget about it most of the year, but Christmas brings it back into focus. And for anybody who believes that magic isn’t real, I have this advice. Look into the eyes of a child around this time of year. If you don’t see magic, may I respectfully suggest you take a spin to your nearest LensCrafters.

I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been Santa from time to time in my life. And I’d bet you have too. Whenever you give a gift to someone at this time of year, you’re taking on the mantle of Santa Claus. When millions of people do this, it becomes more than a collection of wishes and good cheer. It becomes substantive. It becomes real. It becomes a personification of charity and love in its highest form. It becomes Santa. And even when the season wanes, there’s still enough of that floating around to keep Santa alive. To keep him real. To carry him forward to the next Christmas season.

Both of my kids are teenagers now. And someone or other has probably told them that Santa isn’t real. To which I can only counsel they nod in agreement to the poor saps saying such utter nonsense. But to remember in their heart of hearts that Santa IS real. Oh, Father Christmas (as he’s known in England where my children reside) may not come down the chimney of every house. But he’s real. And he’s there. In the hearts of those who give. In the spirit of giving itself. In the love of sharing the season. And it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Zoroastrian. If you’ve got the capability to have those feelings, you’re part Santa. And Santa is part you.

I’m spending my first Christmas home this year. With my parents. I don’t generally like Christmas, since I can’t be with my children. When you’ve lived alone and apart as long as I have, Christmas is more painful because of the separation. But I keep Christmas in my heart. I keep my children in my heart. And that makes Santa live in me. It makes me live in Santa. It makes me remember the magic that is the unspoken core of each heart, but the most essential spark of life.

So, on this day where we celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth (known as Issa) on an early spring morning approximately 2,006 years ago, the day the world as we know it changed, may I wish you the blessings of the season, the miracle of the Messiah, the love of your family, and the magic of Santa Claus.


By the way, when my Dad talked to me that night about Santa, he also said there was no Easter Bunny. I was relieved. Never could figure out why a Leporidae with a thyroid problem would have so many eggs. And I still got the chocolate bunny every Easter, so it was a win-win situation all ‘round.

Doc Farmer, a former resident of Qatar, now lives in Indiana. He receives e-mail at:

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