SANTA FORUM

Our holiday feature is a forum in which leading spokesmen answer a question of absorbing current interest: Is there a Santa Claus?

Professor Grundgelehrt writes:

Your question, unfortunately, is framed in speculative, ontological terms. I prefer to leave abstract metaphysics to the middle ages and to ask with contemporary, existential passion, have we encountered the Santa-event? The rich and diverse tradition of Santa Claus in its world-wide spread is a proper subject for historical and phenomenological investigation, but the real Santa occurrence to which its points lies beyond history in Northpolar Time, where all the relative longitudes of Greenwich time meet and are transcended. The descent of Santa down the chimney symbolizes the vertical relation of Polar Time (Schlittengeschichte) to standard time. As you participate in the stocking-hanging ceremony you await the Santa encounter in which he again becomes profoundly true.

Dr. Eugene Ivy says:

Of course there is a Santa Claus. Can you look into the sparkling upturned eyes of your little child as you hang up her stocking and not believe in Santa Claus? Santa is there, for there is real Santa faith. Scholars disagree about the historicity of Nicholas of Patara. Personally I believe he lived in Lycia in Asia Minor during the early fourth century, as tradition asserts. I am also willing to accept him as the patron saint of children, merchants, and thieves. The first of these roles is rarely questioned and the last two are increasingly vindicated in the Santalands of our great stores. But even if it could be shown that the Nicholas of history was unacquainted with reindeer, my faith in Santa Claus would be undisturbed. Aren’t my children’s stockings full on Christmas ...

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