Yesterday evening, in-between my vaccuming the floors, my daughter, says affirmatively to me, “I believe in Santa.”  I replied, “Of course, you believe in Santa. Why wouldn’t you?” She looks at me like a lighthouse and says, “I heard a girl say she didn’t believe in Santa.” The conversation ended as abruptly as it began. She resumed bouncing around, from one sofa to next, and then she took an occasional break to color in her book. I restarted the vaccum, but her words echoed over my space.

It made me think about Deceember festivities and what the holiday season means to me. There is no question that as a child and and as an adult, even as a Hindu I  celebrated Christmas with my family. I remember listening to my father chant his prayer in front of the mini-shrine temple in our home on a cold December day. In the corner, we had a large Christmas tree filled with lights that looked as if they made eyes at you every time you walked by. I always wondered why, despite their deep Hindu roots they felt the need to put a Christmas tree in the house? I never asked, it just became a part of our life every Christmas. So much about celebrating a holiday that we couldn’t claim as our own was fun. Fruitcake arrived a few days before from the famous Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas, we exchanged presents, and slurped our hot chocolate in front of the fire. You could feel the goodness and the breath of belief in the air. Not knowing what the next year would hold, but believing that your family would be there to love you no matter what.

It’s a tradition we are creating with our daughter. We also have a Christmas tree in our house, as well as stockings, and a mini-temple sits in the corner of our home. But it is what you believe that transcends the obvious. And so when she said, “I believe in Santa,” it took me to a time in my childhood, of what I still believe today. The holidays, no matter what your religious preference, is a time of family, friends and feeling the emotion of love and being loved. It’s simple, obvious and even plays to the cliche, but it is the essence.

Wishing each one of you a very Happy Holiday Season. Hoping you believe too. xoxo Rudri