This is the first of many mornings for the rest of your life that you will be called on to wake up and believe. To believe in that which all evidence, precedent and rational thought tells you is not true.
Is there a Santa?
Well, what I can tell you is that, no, it does not seem possible that one person and eight flying (flying!) reindeer could travel at 1300 miles per second to deliver presents to 2.2 billion children in one day.
I can tell you that, as much as I tried to stay awake when I was your age, I have not seen him yet.
The only thing I have seen are the gifts. No, not just the ones under the tree, but the pile of gifts I have every morning when I wake up. Family. Love. Health. Each Other. Gifts that not everybody has, but that I’ve been given through grace. Did Santa put them there? I don’t know. I know I didn’t.
And yet, there they are.
You see, Giovanni, you should know that many things that were once believed preposterous, not true, even impossible—that planets orbit around the sun, that the Earth is round, that humans can fly—were all later proven to be true.
You should know that there are always, always people, sometimes even people you love most, who say It Can’t Be Done. Until it can be.
You should know that many things that we all believe to be impossible today will, in your lifetime, become possible.
You should know that many of the most important things in the world—Imagination, Hope, Love—are completely beyond reason and proof.
And I suppose you should also know that, no matter what I tell you, I’m not always right.
So is there a Santa?
I will tell you the truth. The truth is that nobody can answer that question for you. You will spend a lifetime answering such questions for yourself.
Is there God? Is there life after death? Do I matter? These have been grappled with for centuries by philosophers and scientists much smarter than I, and even they can’t agree on the answers.
That’s why the answer you’re looking for cannot be found in facts or in someone else’s opinion. It can only be found in your heart.
You wanna know what I think?
I think that you and I are Believers.
Believers are those who wake up in the morning and, in spite of what the rest of the world is telling them, choose to follow what is true for them.
Believers listen closely to smart people. But they listen even more closely to their own hearts.
Believers understand the facts. But they also know that the facts are not the same as the Truth.
Over evidence, statistical probability and conventional wisdom, Believers choose hope, if, and maybe.
Believers know that what is, is not a dictate for What Could Be.
And so, Giovanni, as you lie there still sleeping on this Christmas morning, my wish for you is that, when you wake up, not just this morning, but every morning, that you listen closely to your own heart.