And all through the house… Only 2/5 of my grandchildren still believe and, in one or two years, it will no doubt be zero. How sad. I can’t recall when I got the message, but I think it was from my older sister. Those were the days when magic and mystery ruled my life! Ah, yes, the ‘good old days’ before the realities of life bore down upon me and all was not make-believe.
There was a stunning statistic in our local newspaper this morning that read: Belief in Santa Claus not simply kid stuff: 84% of adults say they put trust in St. Nick. I wonder what the data reads on the Tooth Fairy?
Put their trust in St. Nick? What does that mean? And what does it mean for our nation as a whole? I’d like to see data from other regions like Europe to compare this ‘trust’ thing. I’m betting that the number is way-lower over there. I’m thinking that ‘over there’ where they experienced two world wars in their backyards in 20 years, that the people don’t easily put much ‘trust’ in a mythical creation with religious overtones.
Perhaps it is our American naivety that holds on to such mythological imaginings. Not only that, but our deep entrenchment in religious dogma. Our Puritan heritage that we somehow cannot shake nor move beyond. Those stories from the Old Testament, the ones written as lessons rather than historical fact, are regarded by many Americans as absolute historical truth. They have not yet moved beyond the myth, the tropological allegory, to understand that, as in all myth, it is written as a lesson, not as literal fact.
One need look no further than the latest political ads for Rick Perry to understand just how naive millions of Americans are when it comes to the power of myth in their lives. The fanatical ‘war on Christmas’ literally shouts idiocy if one traces the history of the celebration back to its inception some 1600 years ago when it was ‘created’ to coincide with the Winter Solstice to pacify the pagans as well as with the Roman festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti to placate the Roman soldiers fighting the European barbarians. War on Christmas indeed!
Yet, we Americans are a gullible lot. We ‘believe’ in so much magic, myth and magic as to become ripe targets of the propagandist: the politician, the preacher and the merchant. We are an easy sell.
Do you still ‘believe?’ Or, have you moved way-beyond that childlike fantasy that captured and held you in awe the night before Christmas?