as you may remember from past years, i absolutely believe in the power of myths as not only valuable for a imaginative childhood, but for a fully-enganged thinking adult. there may be no better tool than myth to help us make sense of the world around us, dark and confusing as it can sometimes be. i don't believe that stories have to be dictated to us by our culture, but that we have the power (and the responsibility) to interpret them and tell them to our children in ways that are faithful and responsible to both the terrible brokenness of life, and the magnificent magic and mystery of it. and i believe that when we rob our children of the power of myth by calling them fantasies and castrating the magic from them, we cut off an important appendage of their growth process.
or, to those evangelicals that are struggling with the above paragraph, let me put it in a way that you might understand: i have a better understanding of God because of Aslan. I don't believe Aslan is real: he is a character in a book. and yet, i absolutely do believe aslan is real.
in almost the exact same way, i have a better understanding of God's character because of Saint Nick. i don't believe he is real. and yet, i absolutely do believe santa is real.
and, as an added bonus, in c.s. lewis' mythology, father Christmas makes a brief but very important appearance, giving gifts and spreading hope, just like any saint worth his salt would do.
so, we write letters to santa and to Jesus at Christmastime. to say hi, and thank you. and to keep the hope alive and pulsing in our veins during this crazy season. it's all part of learing to believe in One who can give us everything we need.