On Knowing

On Knowing

All wisdom comes with a price tag, as Hudson finds out when he asks the key question all 9-year-olds ponder this time of year.

Hudson: Dad, I think I’m old enough now to know. Is there a Santa Claus?

Brandon: Ok, I agree that your old enough. But before I tell you, I have a question for you. You see, the ‘truth’ is a dangerous gift. Once you know something, you can’t un-know it. Once you know the truth about Santa Claus, you will never again understand and relate to him as you do now. So, my question is: Are you sure you want to know?

Hudson: Hmmm… Yes, I want to know.

Brandon: Ok, I’ll tell you: Yes, there is a Santa Claus.

Hudson: Really?

Brandon: Yes, really, but he’s not an old man with a beard in a red suit. That’s just what we tell kids. They are too young to understand the true nature of Santa Claus, so we explain it to them in a way that they can understand. The truth about Santa Claus is that he’s not a person at all; he’s an idea.

Hudson: An idea gave me all those presents?

Brandon: Mom and I actually bought those for you. We watched you open them. And did it bother us that you didn’t thank us? Of course not! In fact, it gave mom and me great pleasure. You see, Santa Claus is THE IDEA OF GIVING FOR THE SAKE OF GIVING, without thought of thanks or acknowledgement. Whenever you do something to help another person, you are being Santa Claus.

Hudson: Is that really how it works?

Brandon: Yup. So now that you know, you’re part of it. You have to be Santa Claus too now. That means you can never tell a young kid the secret, and you have to help us select Santa presents for them, and most important, you have to look for opportunities to help people. Got it?

Hudson: I think it’s better not to know things for as long as possible.

Brandon: Why?

Hudson: Knowing stuff comes with too much responsibility.