While watching a Christmas special, I was struck by the fact that time and time again, in who knows how many movies, TV programs, stories and books, we are taught from early childhood that there is magic – a Santa - in the world. Why do we do this? Why do we continually foster the notion of fantasy through early childhood only to slay those beliefs a few years later? And why in particular do we push one of the most common themes in Christmas stories; that Christmas magic requires belief? In many homes, this belief is combined with a belief in a baby Jesus lying in a manger. Now, first of all, we all know that Jesus wasn’t really born in December, and probably at least five years earlier than the calendar indicates. We watch movies about animals talking at midnight and the Ghost of Christmas past, we sing about The Little Drummer Boy, and right along side Santa we are taught a variety of fairy tale versions of yet another belief system. But what is was perplexing to me is that even as adults, we watch the movies, we sing the songs, we hang the socks by the chimney with care, and we place a baby Jesus in a manger under a Christmas tree that happens to be an old pagan symbol. So what is the logic in all of this? Some might argue that we seek to capture the magic of our childhood and that we want our children to feel the magic that we once felt; that we value this as part of our life experience. But I think it goes much deeper than this. Consider that along with Santa, according to Christian beliefs, faith based belief in Christ is also paramount to salvation. In fact a key lesson found in the Christian tradition is that of doubting Thomas, who had to see to believe, and who was diminished by his lack of faith. And though not an expert on other religions, I would bet that faith based belief is a key concept in nearly all religions. So Santa just parallels a more general notion that magic does exist but only if we believe it does. And I’ll go one step further. I think this lies at the heart of Xmas and Santa Claus. I don’t think we are trying to capture something lost, rather, I think we are expressing the intrinsic knowledge that “good” is real, and that something greater than ourselves does exist.