The unspoken truth: Santa Claus

Is he a man? A myth? A legend? Call him what you want, but Santa Claus is undeniably a cultural symbol. Something keeps St. Nick’s legend alive, and maybe it’s just the thought of being a kid again.
“Santa’s a reminder of the childhood joy that he brought us. No matter how old you are, you can always remember that feeling,” said senior Aidan Einloth.
Joy can always be seen in children’s eyes whenever the word “Santa” reaches their ears. Santa Claus embodies the idea that anything is possible for children.
“We like Santa because we like presents,” said six year old Brianna DeWert.
But as kids grow, so do their suspicions. They begin to question the reality of “Santa,” and rumors denying his existence start to meander elementary schools.
“I was a little suspicious since the second grade. I wondered why on Christmas Eve I always heard them walking up and down the stairs a lot around midnight, but I didn’t want to think the rumors were true,” said senior Marie Amsler. “In fourth grade, I remember walking into my parents’ room and seeing a bunch of wrapped presents that said “from Santa” a few weeks before Christmas, and since then, I just accepted [it].”
Whether it be discovering presents wrapped in the basement or just being told by parents, there comes a time when all children discover the truth about Santa Claus.
“In first grade, I was ready to go to gym [at school] and my friend told me that Santa wasn’t real. I didn’t want to believe him, but I still asked my parents just to be sure. Sadly, it was true,” said senior Jake Onarheim.
While Santa will inevitably be discovered as a “fraud,” curiosity doesn’t have to kill the cat. Christmas and Santa still seem to prominently live on in the spirits of those who believe.
“[I] began to enjoy Christmas for spending time with my family and sharing food, gifts, and love with one another,” Amsler said.
Many wonder why Santa is such a strong cultural symbol. While the holiday season can be characterized by presents, snow and the big man in red, for many, Christmas is about something deeper.
“I think the importance of Santa goes back to keeping the image of little kids alive. When they have Santa to look forward to, it gives them a reason to behave well and gets them excited to end each year on a positive note. It’s all about building good habits and rewarding the kiddos in a way that’s more special than just handing them a present,” said junior Jacque Garza.