Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

On Santa Claus and Right Brains

I almost blew it today. I almost told David there was no Santa Claus, or Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny. The practical, cynical, depressed side of my brain (the left) challenged the creative, optimistic, slightly manic side (the right) to a duel. For most of the afternoon, the left was winning.

I asked myself, why am I feeding my kids this Disney, make-believe crap that will make their fall to reality all the more crushing? Why encourage them to dream, when they’ll have to wake up to an alarm clock soon enough? The same rational voice that thinks it’s stupid to make a bed in the morning that you’ll sleep in again that night, who calls up family members to say “no gifts this year, right?,” and who doesn’t go grocery shopping because the planet is going to burn up anyway (whether or not we eat) wants to put the kibosh on the whole world of imagination because “life is difficult,” the first three words of M. Scott Peck’s classic, “The Road Less Traveled.”


But then I noticed the sheer delight on my five-year-old’s face as he watched five passenger cars round the corner of a magnificent holiday train display at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville, Maryland. He clearly caught a whiff of the Christmas spirit, as did his little sister, who stood in front of the nautical-themed Christmas tree mesmerized by the mermaid ornaments and aqua tinsel.

How could I deprive them of this wonder?

I thought about a world without poetry, art, romance, and (ACK!) Disney. Standing there with David and his trains and Katherine and her mermaid tree, I remembered the words of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church when he answered eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon’s question on whether or not there was a Santa Claus.

“Yes, Virginia,” he wrote, “there is a Santa Claus. He exists certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy…. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see…. Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever.”

  • http://HASH(0xceaade8) Kim

    Thank you. I have suffered with depression for many years and am now living with depression. For me the change was a long slow process. It’s good to hear that for someone else the process did not take years, thanks in part to new kinds of drugs. My new moto is “Life is tough but GOD is good!”

  • http://HASH(0xceabe60) LAF

    I, unfortunately, succombed to the left side of my brain on Easter this year, and told my kids the evil truth about the holidays. I have regretted it ever since and feel horrible. Part of why I did it was thinking that they would go back to school and someone was bound to tell them; my son is now in 4th grade. But, this didn’t happen~ it was ME. I did it! Ugh. The other part of why I told them was that I was upset, anfry and depressed about other things and they were fighting with each other and missing the whole point of the holiday, in the first place. I have since been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, which unwittingly, causes reactions like this due to low blood sugar to the brain. I always attributed these symptoms to stress and anxiety, but there was an actual medical reason for “acting out” like I did for sometimes, no reason. It was an eye-opener and I am now trying to take control of this. Not easy to do right before Christmas. God gave me the sign I needed to finally address the bigger problem~ not taking care of myself. Now, I have no choice. I wish I could have before the Easter episode. Routinely see your doctor and tell them of symptoms like “having extreme reactions to things”. It might not be stress alone.

  • http://HASH(0xceac184) sara love

    Only those who know the depressive state can know the darkness that it brings. We all have to pass through it at somepoint, some of us have liveed in it or on the edge of it forever–it brings great perception and compassion, it just needs to be watched closely so that it won’t suck you in. If you are hypoglygemic, make sure you include all you need in your diet daily. Diet is so critical to good health. Make sure you always keep some of the needed foods around to maintain a healthy balance between insulin and blood sugar. After all, sugar is what feeds our brains and energizes every cell in our bodies.

  • http://HASH(0xcead4e0) Donny

    If we can teach our children that human life was caused by an accidental mud slide (or whatever), millions, errrrr, tens of uhh, hundreds of millions, ummm-errrr, thounsands of millions, No-ooo, BILLIONS!!!” of years ago . . ., There being a Santa Claus is no problem at all. He really existed once.His spirit still does! Look what it does for mommies and daddies.

  • http://HASH(0xceae6f4) Donny

    “As a Christian,” I have, since day one – with my kids – told them all about the truth of Santa, Easter and the Tooth Fairy. They refused to believe me. They knew better. Interesting what a “childish” mind cares to believe.Yet, I have seen not one thing of harm befall my children with their desire to believe in Santa, that Bunny with “his” eggs (?), or the cash they receive from some minuscule and winged Lady, for their teeth that naturally fall out. But rejecting the Truth that was born in the child Jesus that first Christmas day???(And yes, they know, it was not really in December.) They refuse the “real” lie that Christ Jesus doesn’t exist.My children also know that they will have to grow up someday.

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