“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” -Roald Dahl
A few days ago I was reading a forum thread discussing the topic of Santa, Fairies, and lying to children about “make believe” things. It sparked a lot of thought for me so I decided to write about it.
Growing up, I was taught that Santa wasn’t real. My parents never lied to me about that. They did, however, teach me that Jesus and Satan and all other typical biblical characters were real. They said Fairies weren’t real. I was not allowed to read Fairy tales, or any fictional stories (historical, non magic-y stories were permitted). When I got older and started having lots of questions and doing research for myself, I discovered that there is no more proof for Christianity than there is for Santa or Fairies, or any other “mythological” creatures. So, what makes something real?
If you believe that Jesus died for you and is coming to take you to heaven someday, that is real for you. If you believe that there are Fairies around that we can’t see, that is real for you. Who am I to say what’s real for anyone else! I believe that there is a lot going on that we can’t see. Most of us don’t believe, and we are too closed to the endless possibilities that exist all around us. The unknown can be frightening. It is outside the realm of our control. I hated that idea for a while. But then I realized that without the unknown, without letting go, there would be no magic. And, I love magic. (And sparkles).
I believe magic in the world is real. Even if Santa doesn’t bring you presents, even if you never see a Fairy, even if Jesus never appears, there is still magic everywhere, every day. I like to think that I can be a part of making the world a more magical place by being kind, respecting other people, and helping my children learn these values. Also by having fun, just being silly, playing! Why should life have to be so serious and black and white and certain all the time? Just let go!
When I had my first kid, I told her Santa wasn’t real. By the time she was four, on her own, she believed Santa was real. I had nothing to do with it! Around that same time I became far more ambiguous about my own religious experience so I was able to be open to more possibilities. Truth is subjective, when it comes to unprovable subjects. I talk to my kids about the stories of the original Saint Nick, and how we can be part of the magic of Christmas by helping others who are less fortunate than us. We make Fairy gardens outside, and tiny homes they could live in. Anytime one of the kids lose a tooth, they find a note under their pillow covered with pixie dust, and they know who “helped” the Tooth Fairy put it there, but it’s fun to have a story about it. I read them lots of books with stories and mythical tales from all kinds of cultures and places around the world. When they ask me if Fairies, or Unicorns, or the Tooth Fairy, or Jesus is real, I tell them I don’t know because I haven’t seen them but I don’t see why they might not be. I believe anything is possible. Stories are great ways to learn all kinds of things. Truth can be presented in so many different ways. I think there are valuable lessons to be found in all kinds of “myths”, both new and old.
Don’t you want to live in a world where ideas like Fairies and Santa Claus are reality?
After all, according to quantum physics Santa could actually visit every house in one night, you know.
“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe