Written by David Everett
I’ll take evidence over belief, laws over self-interest and couldn’t give a damn over superstition. In fact, I’m the one who, without hesitation, will remark on how quiet it is at work during the period of a full moon. I can tell you now that as an Emergency Nurse this is sufficient to raise the wrath of my colleagues.
So, like my colleagues and the ‘Q’ word we all have our foibles in which reason and science are tossed aside like Christmas leftovers on New Year’s Day. My foibles are the mythologies of childhood.
Tooth Fairy: I’m high-fiving that little lady as she slips a $2 coin under the pillow. Too frequently a day late but that’s usually because, she (the little one), couldn’t find it in all the mess. Maybe if the room was cleaned – sigh!
Easter Bunny: I’ve got his paw print saved to the hard drive ready to sign off his letters with a note. He’s a busy rabbit so I gave him a hand with this bit.
Then comes Santa Clause: Oh Saint Nick, you are the last belief to be let go and not because the continued belief means I’m guaranteed a Guinness on Christmas Eve. You don’t get to take the credit for the biggest and best of the presents. But Santa, you do get to give great fun little things, as well as our family tradition of chocolates and undies in the stocking.
This is all simply ‘the joy of childhood’ and I don’t even try to further justify this exception to my solid acceptance of evidence based reality. I love it. The kids love it. It’s fun for everyone and creates many lasting happy memories, as well as traditions that can flow between the generations for years to come.
Yes, eventually they find out the truth and perhaps they crash when it happens. But sometimes it happens late enough, that they know well enough, to keep it to themselves -and parents get a bit more time to enjoy it. Still, if you are like us, even when we all found out who knows the truth,
we all keep doing it anyway because it’s still an honest delight to experience.
The exception to this is the carrots. I will happily give up the carrot tradition. I don’t mind steamed carrots. I love roasted carrots and will melt for a quality carrot cake. Carrots for the reindeer though are a whole other matter. I really don’t enjoy raw carrots, by themselves or dipped in hummus – it makes no difference. Yet somehow it has become part of my role on Christmas Eve to chew chunks of raw carrots and spray them over the back deck as though Santa’s reindeer were messy eaters. I don’t enjoy the taste and when thought about, it’s quite feral. Yet I enjoy the joy it brings, so I wouldn’t actually be happy about giving it up. Also Guinness washes the taste away quite well.