Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

The Question That Troubles

Remember the story called “The emperor’s new clothes?”. A great read, solid food for thought, don’t you think? Good lessons about being outspoken and real.

Sometimes kids say the darnedest things. They ask the darnedest questions too. And somehow they have the ability to point, sweetly and innocently, to the elephant in the room. Or the missing clothes. You get the idea.

It happened a couple of years ago, when Tony was in grade one. Him and I were about to go and buy a gift for a child whose name was in the gifting tree at their school. The gifting tree is the one where tags are placed with the names of children who would otherwise have no gifts on Christmas day. Thoughtful thinking of course, a good thing.

There was no way to foresee the troubling question. It came swiftly and caused a myriad of others in my head. Some sharper than I care to admit. Tony’s question back then: If Santa exists than why doesn’t he bring gifts first of all to the children who have less?

It’s been troubling me since. Coming from a child who is figuring out the world like all children do. It’s been troubling me because somehow I felt that the coordinates I was providing were missing the essence. The truth. Was I misleading? I wish I didn’t.

How to keep the magic around then? Until when? Is magic at Christmas a luxury? It felt like it… Which kind of trampling is more troublesome in the end? The release of the truth (which is not really trampling since it opens the door to compassion and gratefulness) or the maintaining of the magic of that luxury item that only some can put together…

See what I mean? Do you have an answer? Much obliged.




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  1. Tanja

    my thought, be truthful right from the start. I do not do (play up) the whole “santa” thing at all, as I never want to be caught lying to my children. Sure it will happen inadvertently, but not as long as I am conscious of my words, thoughts, actions. not saying my way is any better, just a different approach. sooner or later kids see anyway how unjust this world is, in countless other ways. baaa humbug, smile

    • Good points, Tanja. I am quite conflicted by the whole thing. It’s the curtain that’s pulled to the side and you see it all, lights shining strong and all… A tough one, but being truthful is the way to go.

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