Author: Patricia Feager, 12/16/19
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward
in this faith is to see what you believe."
--- St. Augustine
Whether it was right or wrong to believe in Santa Claus makes no difference. What matters to me are the rewards you reap when you believe in being good. Doing the right thing always has a positive effect - at least that is true for me. This past weekend I went on a retreat. The theme was reflective life... wondering, pondering, and of course, reflection.
No. We did not talk about Santa Claus. And I'm not going to give you a report. However, as I continue to reflect on life during this season of the year, I shall continue to use my imagination and reflect. It is hard for me to imagine growing up without faith, having something to believe in, or customary family traditions that encouraged me to be good and stay connected.
Things change. I get that; however, it is hard for me to stop sending traditional Christmas cards and writing letters to family and friends. As the years go by, I get less and less cards. To date, I received five. Therefore, I'm glad I saved the most important ones written by loved ones that are no longer here on earth. It may sound silly to you, but just reading their Christmas cards along with seeing their handwriting and a special Christmas message still feels as good today as it did years ago. Out of sight, really isn't out of mind.
For me Christmas wasn't just about our faith and family traditions, we focused on priorities. Each member of the family had a job to do - identify your own critical goals and address issues that needed to be corrected. What I learned and passed down to my children was focusing on conduct, honesty, obedience, loyalty, and developmental skills. Although the Christmas traditions I once enjoyed are mostly all gone, I still believe goodness matters.
In preparation for the holiday, I continue to stretch outside my comfort zones to do good for others. Years ago, challenges included figuring out why lights on the trees didn't work, and how to unravel things without breaking something. On the night before Christmas, we reflected on, what's next? Not only did we learn to adapt and plan, we transferred what we learned down to the next generation.
Clearly, none of us are perfect. Some of us have more imagination than others while others struggle. Carl Sagan was right: "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere." Without a doubt, I believe Christmas is more than just the imagination. After all, it isn't my birthday!