The Widdershins

Activist Wednesday: Why Santa Claus Endures

Posted on: December 25, 2013


As children of non-religious Jooz living in a largely Christian neighborhood, my brother and I were, at first, not aware of our “difference” at Christmastime. In fact, we had a Christmas tree until I was about 8. We did everything Christian children do, including making a list for Santa. What a shock when my parents broke the news to us, and replaced our early-morning December 25th goodies with Chanukkah gelt, a menorah and just one present a night! And well, let’s just say that when we found out Santa wasn’t real, we were as upset as any kids.

Fast-forward to today, and I see nothing but shows about Santa Claus today, on Christmas Eve. I have often wondered why otherwise reasonable adults go so crazy for Santa, when we all found out (at a very early age, mind you!) that he is nothing but a myth. Yet tens of millions of children are told every year that he is not just real, but has a long white beard, a red suit, and a round belly; carries a sack full of gifts in a sleigh driven by reindeer; and lives at the North Pole with an equally red and white wife and lots of helpful elves. Both the specificity and endurance of this particular myth are amazing, and I think this year, my naturally skeptical mind is starting to understand it.

I think we want to believe Santa exists because of what he represents: the spirit of true, unfettered, undemanding generosity. The desire to give without getting anything in return except the satisfaction of knowing the recipient got exactly what he or she or they wanted most…this desire is what makes human beings rise above their own concerns and achieve heroic stature. We celebrate stories of “real” Santas every day, on YouTube, on our local news, on FaceBook and Twitter. When we see this impulse in our kids, we encourage it; sharing and collaboration are what we tell them to strive for with their siblings and friends.

Yes, Santa might just be a symbol of what we all wish we could be 365 days a year, but usually manage to achieve for only a few shining moments in that year – or perhaps, for a short period in November or December. Regardless of one’s religious affiliation (or lack thereof), I think that Santa’s spirit can speak to us all if we let it. So here’s a salute to the jolly old elf who comes down chimneys and gives generously to all the girls and boys. Let’s foster that goodness within us and let it grow and flourish whenever we can. That’s our activism for today, Widdershins.

This is an open thread. (Note: The video below has over 3 million hits on YouTube.)


10 Responses to "Activist Wednesday: Why Santa Claus Endures"

Sing it, sister!

Here is a video in the truest spirit of Christmas, and one that makes me even prouder of my college. Grab a kleenex or two:

How nice Chat!!

Brrrr…it’s cold here, got down to 19 last night and doesn’t feel much warmer now. I’m getting back under the covers!

Yes, MadamaB, you have, with your usual insight, explained a cultural traditions which spans many nations.

Now that my precious grandbaby, her parents, and my sister have gone home, I will be kicking back and listening to Chat’s beautiful music selections from Sunday.

Happiness, harmony and blessings to all at TW2! And a special thank you to the frontpagers who keep this place of warmth in a cold world together, so we can always find refuge in our not so virtual home.

Well, here’s an interesting tidbit for those of us staggering under prescription bills. I called Express Scripts this morning to tell them to cancel a prescription they had put on automatic refill. I requested a live service rep and told her I couldn’t have them putting my prescriptions on auto-refill because I will get hit with a hefty deductible after January 1st. and the last order subject to deductible had cost me over $400.00.

Then I started asking her for exact prices of the prescriptions so I would know what I had to come up with in two weeks. As soon as I started cancelling orders, telling her I’d have to know the exact cost, she voluteered, “I can put you on vacation waiver and put your order in now.” I said, “What’s vacation waiver? How much will that cost me?” She said, just your copay because I’m putting it in now before January 1st. You know, people go on vacation.” (Which people? The ones who can afford over $400.00 for scripts?!)

So I got my most essential two prescriptions for $90.00 instead of $400.00. Which makes me wonder, what else do I not know? If i just keep calling up and telling them to cancel orders because I can’t afford them, will they suddenly discover their “policy” isn’t hard and fast?

Is Canadian competition working? Stay tuned!

P.S. I have finally, nearly six months after going onto Medicare, received a copy of the supplemental retiree insurance policy. I’ve also found out that in MA there are only two kinds of policies allowed: CORE, which is what i have because it’s what my late husband’s company is providing, and enhanced, which is a higher fixed monthly premium but it absorbs all the deductibles and co-pays. One claims rep told me the crucial question in shopping around is not, do you pick up the deductible, but, at what out of pocket percentage does your coverage begin, 10% or 15%? I don’t even know what that really means.

I have a graduate degree and I can’t figure this stuff out, and I’d probably need a whole day and a contracts law expert to read the and decode the policy. What is happening to people with little education, if I can’t understand this stuff? I was awake in contracts class. But knowing the theory doesn’t decode the jargon for me or anyone else.

@7: Call the AARP. I have their supplemental, and while it is not cheap. it covers 100% of deductibles and copays for A and B.

Widdershins, I am way behind. Enjoy this post until later this afternoon (two-ish?)

@8,9 Thank you, Chat. And don’t rush, relax! It’s the day after Christmas, no need to rush around.

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