I’m 58 years old now and I still love children’s Christmas stories. I love the reminder that, after a long hard year such as this one and the previous one, there is good in this world even across the ages. Because this isn’t the only hard time we humans have endured. Certainly, there is little evidence of good news when we scan the headlines these days but reading holiday stories reassures me that goodness and kindness live. I also love the childhood tradition of writing Santa a letter. Our letters to Santa as kids were brimming with praises of ourselves as evidence to Santa that, on Christmas morning, we deserved all the treasures our little hearts desired. We imagined, of course, that Santa was already aware of our positive behaviors and caring qualities and that, even if he did have a true sense of who was naughty and who was nice, we believed that he was also loving and forgiving and accepting of us, flaws and all.
Our belief in Santa’s kindness and compassion were reinforced again and again in stories, like the classic “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa” in which the author, Francis P. Church, assures us that Santa “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 the world be 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.” His words offer such hope, such certainty that Santa cares.
Recently, I heard an interview with writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love!) where she shared with listeners her most supportive and healing self-care practice. She explained that she writes herself a love letter each day and reminds herself of the things she’s done well and offers grace for the places she fell short, expressing love and compassion for herself. In her letter to herself, she goes through a similar process as we all did growing up… she appeals to her Santa nature and sees her basic goodness. Hearing her story inspired me to imagine what it would be like to write myself a letter as if it were Santa speaking. What would he say? I imagine it might sound something like this:
My dear, precious Michelle,
I want you to know that I have heard you and I am here for you. Yes, it has been a hard year and at the same time you’ve risen up to the challenge and done your best to operate for the highest good of yourself and others. It’s been such a thrill for me to watch you navigate your world with love and care and even in those moments when you stumbled, I felt proud to see you pick yourself up and start again. I want you to know that I’m here for you always and that I love you dearly. I don’t know what the future holds but no matter what I am in it with you. I assure you that I am not going anywhere, I’m with you… on Christmas and all year long. I ask you to remember me, even when things feel dark and difficult, please remember that you are not alone. I’m here.
I invite you to do this for yourself this holiday season dear reader. Touch into your eternal, essential Santa nature and see yourself as Santa would. As Mr. Church exclaims “No Santa Claus!? Thank God, he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
Michelle is a mother, a partner, a friend, a spiritual seeker, a licensed psychotherapist and someone who enjoys connecting with herself and her higher Self within a mindfulness meditation practice. She has a BA in Communications and Humanities from the University of Colorado and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a concentration in Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Psychology from Naropa University. Michelle’s practice, Soul Care Counseling, offers mindfulness-based practices that support clients seeking to become less anxious, less stressed, less reactive and more grounded, present and connected with their own inner ally. As a result of their work together, clients are able to communicate with themselves and others with greater clarity, care and compassion. https://michellelaborde.com/