Thursday, December 13, 2007

On the Santa Train

Last weekend I took a ride a short way up the Hudson River with my sister, her daughter, and my niece’s three young daughters. The MTA event involved a festively decorated commuter train, goody bags for the kids, and a Santa Claus and elves who made their way through the train cars to talk with all the children. The trip started in Grand Central Terminal and ended up back there in less than an hour. The anticipation beforehand was very exciting for my grand-nieces, and the actual trip was a lot of fun.

Now, I realize that Santa is not everyone’s cup of tea because the myth doesn't square with all belief systems. But I long ago stopped seeing Christmas as a religious holiday. More than anything else, it's an extended commercial ploy to enforce giving, and buying. I find the commercialism and crowds of the season nearly intolerable; all the hoopla makes me quite cranky.

Apart from my humbug air, however, it's still absolutely magical to be able to accept that one man can make his way around the world delivering gifts to all children in a single night. It’s only for the young, and what a delight it is to see through the eyes of those young believers. In fact, after six months of dealing with cancer, I long for my own Santa Claus!

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