Thursday, December 24, 2015

Just because it didn't happen doesn't mean it isn't true

The boys finally stopped believing in Santa Claus this year. Our 8 year old simply stated, "How can there be a Santa Claus - we don't even have a chimney." Well, what can you say to that.

I was raised in Germany where we receive the presents on the eve of Christmas Day. So we never heard that extended web of stories, from the cookies and milk that somehow have to be served to Santa at night to his flying reindeer that patiently wait on the roof of the house.

So while it took me a while to warm up to the American Christmas spirit, I too have changed. I am now much more flexible in my story telling abilities. The philosopher Count Keyserling once put it this way, "Just because it didn't happen doesn't mean it isn't true." That was a break through insight for me. Sometimes you have to tell universal truths with the help of a simple story; and whether it actually happened or not is besides the point.

As far as our Christmas tradition is concerned, I always tell the Christmas story with the story of the drummer boy interwoven. The drummers boy's dad had been kidnapped, I say, and one of the three kings accomplishes the feat of having him released on Christmas Eve, while the drummer boy believes in the magic of Baby Jesus. I am sure that one day the boys will also question that part of the Christmas story, but until that day, it is a beautiful illustration of the truth that when it comes to God, no miracle is too small.

Merry Christmas!

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