Caroline Says

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Kristina Wyman's picture
Caroline Critelli

It’s finally acceptable to talk about what everyone wants to talk about the second that Halloween ends: Christmas. That’s right, forget about Thanksgiving, I want Christmas trees and Santa Claus and chestnuts roasting over an open fire. Now, there are some people who love Thanksgiving, maybe even more than they love Christmas, and that’s all well and good. But Christmas is obviously better.

And, no, it’s not because you get gifts on Christmas. There is nothing further from my brain the closer we get to the best holiday ever. To a lot of people, Christmas has become all about sales and shopping and having every little detail be perfect. And if you’ve been reading my column for a while, you’d know that perfect is not how I roll. What I feel makes Christmas so great is something that I’m not sure I’ll even be able to put into words. It’s just magic.

It’s that thing that made Santa’s sleigh fly at the end of Elf. It’s whatever managed to get the Grinch to bring back everything he stole at the end of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. It’s the thing that allowed people to hear the bell from Santa’s sleigh in The Polar Express. It’s just simple Christmas spirit. It always amazes me how it’s only around this time of year that this feeling can show up. This pure joy and innocence that seems to take over everyone the second that December first arrives.

I want to tell a story. It’s probably going to be a really boring story, but hey it’s there. I feel like anyone who celebrates Christmas has that moment where they unfortunately learn that Santa Claus isn’t real, and that’s some traumatic stuff right there. So, I would like to share my tragic realization when I was little.

So if you couldn’t tell, I was a very weird kid, as I have obviously grown into a pretty weird adult. And whenever older kids tried to tell me that Santa wasn’t real, I would get so mad at them. Like, how dare you disrespect Santa like that? After everything that he’s done for you. I never even questioned that maybe they were right; I just didn’t understand why they were being jerks to the jolliest guy around.

However, as I got older I realized that, yes, all the things that Santa does are impossible. I came to this conclusion on my own; my parents didn’t tell me or anything. And for a lot of kids, this can completely ruin Christmas. This holiday revolves around Santa, and now you’re saying that he doesn’t exist? But the funny thing is, I really didn’t care. In a way, even though I know that Santa obviously isn’t a living, breathing person, I still continued to believe in him.

Because that warm and fuzzy feeling that you get around Christmas all comes from the act of believing in things that you wouldn’t normally think of the rest of the year. Believing that there’s good in everyone and that everyone deserves to be treated kindly. Believing in helping others and how even the smallest acts of giving can mean more than you can possibly imagine. When you believe in all of this, you do believe in Santa Claus because this is what he taught all of us when we were kids.

To a lot of people, this might seem stupid, and I understand that not everyone celebrates Christmas. But I’m sure that everyone has a certain time of year that has a different feeling than any other time. This weird day or week or month that just makes you want to be more giving or kind than you are at any other time.

And sometimes people forget about this as they get lost in a sea of sales and coffee cups that are allegedly not festive enough. But it’s important to remember that Christmas is about believing. Believing that there is just more joy and hope than you might have initially thought. Or, believing that you can survive finals without actually just forgetting how to function. You just have to do what every Christmas movie has ever told you to do and just believe.

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