Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Santa Claus revisited

When my mother tried to tell me about Santa Claus, I looked amazed. "How can one person visit ALL the homes in the world on Christmas eve especially when the way he comes (down the chimney) is not the quickest way to enter a home? And what about all the homes which HAVE NO chimney?" (I was thinking of our home, for example) I was 3 years old at the time. My mother was so amazed at the logical questions from a child this small that she walked away, muttering under her breath.

Of course, now in a time where sometimes superstition and science get confused, one sharp scientist, North Carolina State University’s Dr. Larry Silverberg, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has come up with an explanation of how Santa can deliver all those presents to all the kids in the world in one night.

"Based on his advanced knowledge of the theory of relativity, Santa recognizes that time can be stretched like a rubber band, that space can be squeezed like an orange and that light can be bent," Silverberg says. "Relativity clouds are controllable domains – rips in time – that allow him months to deliver presents while only a few minutes pass on Earth. The presents are truly delivered in a wink of an eye."

Santa can also, using cell phone technology, listen to kids' thoughts and that way know what kids want, says Dr Silverberg.

There are some serious problems with his theory. To be outside earthtime, Santa would have to travel in space and unless he was not human, he could not do so unless he wore a space suit. Also, a reindeer pulled sled would NOT serve as a space worthy vehicle. (That's assuming that reindeer could fly of course, an assumption that a smart scientist like Dr Silverberg, could not, in true sanity, make). Everyone, reindeer and Santa alike, would run out of Oxygen to breathe way before they got to the place where they would be outside of earthtime! :)

And last I heard, cell phone technology could not read minds.

So even for space age kids, the idea of Santa delivering all the gifts in one night holds serious problems....

The problem might be, though that in a society which questions the age old wisdom of the Bible, popular myths like Santa or what purpose he serves (other than filling the stores' coffers) are not questioned.

I always felt the concept of the baby Jesus, lying in the humble manger in God's Act of giving Himself to the world, was something kids could much better relate to than the unbelievable story of Santa Claus (not withstanding, that myth making Christmas into a "gimme" instead of a GIVE TO OTHERS).

The other day I questioned whether "Toys for Tots" had to remain politically correct and not mention God or whether "the reason for the season" could be talked about while giving the gifts to kids. The Colonel I asked got very huffy and suggested I was questioning his own Christian beliefs (I wasn't at all) and when I tried to get back to my question, he got judgmental and questioned MY Christian beliefs. Should we as Christians give (indiscriminately) to any charity which gives out toys?

Well, not really. If one feels the story of the Christ child IS the greatest gift we can give to kids then we should seek charities which share this story along with the gifts (which ones like St Vincent De Paul and World Vision do). This was never saying I was knocking other charities but simply talking about supporting charities which perpetuate what I feel to be the truth.

I have been greatly criticized for denying our son the Santa myth. I simply didn't see a need for it and I also had a bit of a problem with lying to my son about Santa's existence. (OK more than a bit of a problem).

Our son felt so deprived about this that he not only did NOT do the Santa thing with our grandkids but also my daughter-in-law seemed to agree with this decision. They do the Advent wreath and family prayer instead and from the feedback I've gotten from the kids, they love it. (they also do the gifts).

Santa will live on, I suspect, although the fat phobes would have him change his appearance into a slimmer fitter Santa. Turns out they feel that as he is, he's a poor role model for kids because of his size. Poor Santa. :)