This year Santa Claus gave my house a miss. Not that my house not having a chimney had anything to do with it. Not that my kids are so grown up that they don't believe in Santa Claus anymore. The reason was that we did not put up a stocking and the gates to the house were specially barred.
You may ask why. A very valid question. Well, my kids do believe in Santa Claus, but they believe that, believe it or not, Santa eats little children! When they told me, as expected, I was shell shocked! I've grown up and lived my entire life believing in the goodness of Santa. Long after I knew that Santa doesn't really exist, I still believed in his inherent goodness. Kindness, magnanimity, love, care, warmth and laughter, are just some of the qualities of the large-hearted Santa I've always believed in.
According to me, Santa is not a person. It is a concept, played out in many forms by many different people at different points in everyone's life. Someone offering you a cup of tea while waiting at the doctors'. Someone getting up to give you their seat in the bus. Someone offering to share their umbrella with us on a rainy day. It can be anyone, anywhere, any day. Santa will exist till Kindness and all things Good exist in this world.
Coming back to my kids, I tried to convince them."Santa doesn't eat children. He loves them. You are safe in the house".
"No, even if we are safe, he may come and eat our toy children." They were worried.
"Santa doesn't take away toys. In fact, he brings toys." I tried reasoning out.
"Ok, but we have so many. So he may just be tempted to take some away, no?"
Well, I gave up, but not without some reflection and introspection. Do we pamper our kids so much, plying them with "toys-on-demand", so that the joy of getting a gift has became meaningless for them? Or is this a sign of things to come, when humans will be so wary of each other that even Santa Claus will be portrayed as a human-eating ogre?
I hope not. But that isn't enough.
I know I need to act, and work on my kids.
How about you?