Friday night we babysat the grandkids while their parents attended a temple session. After the first hour, we plopped onto the sofa and turned on the TV for animated relief from hide and seek and reading stories. The kiddie version of Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus was an insipid take off on the classic editorial, but we were too pooped to care. The real message of the original, that Santa ”exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist. . . they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy,” was an afterthought in the dreary film, but George and I enjoyed the sentiment.
“Granddad and I saw Santa Claus in Murray last week,” I told the skeptical 7-year-old.
“At the intersection of State Street and 4500 South. A car stalled in the intersection and three or four young men stopped their cars and trucks, set their flashers blinking, and ran over to push the stalled car out of traffic.”
“That wasn’t Santa Claus.”
“It was love and generosity. That’s the same thing.”
Of course, the grandkids didn’t get it, but witnessing these young men take time to help a stranger refreshed George’s and my belief in the basic goodness and humanity of ordinary people in a world where the unscrupulous and greedy too often dominate the conversation.