The Radical Life

by matthew warner

A few years ago I did some rough calculations:

There are about 25.5 million teenagers in the USA (ages 13-19). On average, each teen spends 87 hours per year looking for or at pornography online. That means U.S. teens spend about 2.2 billion man-hours on pornography per year.

There are about 230 million adults in the USA (ages 20 and up). On average, each one spends 40 hours looking at pornography. That means US adults spend an estimated 9.2 billion man-hours on pornography per year.

So, all together, US adults and teens spend 11.4 billion man-hours per year on internet pornography alone.

We also spend over $13.3 billion on pornography in the United States every year.

Here area a few other things we could do with that same time and money:

With that same amount of time (man-hours) we could…

  1. Build the Empire State building…1,628 times.
  2. Visit every single one of the 1.5 million U.S. nursing home residents, every single day of the year, for 20 hours a day…and still have free time left over.
  3. Visit every single one of the 2 million prisoners in the United States, every single day, two visitors at a time, for 8 hours.
  4. Have every single person in the U.S. spend an extra 36 hours in prayer.
  5. Spend 3 extra hours per week with each and every one of the 75 million teens and children in the United States.

With that same amount of money we could…

  1. Provide, prepare and serve 7 billion school lunches. That’s enough to feed over 38 million students every school day of the year.
  2. Pay for 1.9 million four-year college degrees.
  3. Build 190,000 Habitat for Humanity homes…in Orange County, CA. Or we could build 7.25 million of them in India.
  4. Give $13.3 million to one thousand different charities each.
  5. Feed 1 billion people a meal…70 times.

And this says nothing of all of the other negative side effects that would be avoided if we could give up our porn.

How many marriages are stressed by it? How many families broken? How many addictions formed? How many marital unions defiled, nullified and deeply scarred? How many abusers made callous to the dignity of the human person? How many brains are re-wired to objectify rather than dignify? How many innocents are spoiled? And how many young, struggling people are drawn into an industry that lets us degrade them for our own entertainment and pleasure? And subjects them to a lifestyle that very often kills them (the life expectancy of a porn star/stripper is 37 years)?

We thought the days of the Coliseum were long gone. They’re really not. Its walls may have crumbled, but they’ve been resurrected around dark, shadowy clubs and private web portals where we reduce our fellow human beings to objects of our own entertainment at the expense of their pain and destruction.

The mask of the party and the barrier of computer screens dangerously deceives us into thinking nobody is getting hurt. But not only are we hurting all of the people we objectify and take advantage of, and not only are we hurting all the people we could have been helping with that time/money instead, but we’re also hurting ourselves. Rewiring our brains into lesser versions of ourselves that compete directly with the radically satisfying life we were created to live.

All because we can’t give up the comparatively dull, distracting, destructive indulgence of our porn.

(The best talk I’ve ever heard on the vice of porn and the virtue of purity is called Detox, by Jason Evert. Whether you struggle with this or not, you should get it and share it.)

Do you ever just get tired?

Do you ever get worn out by the day-to-day give-and-take in your life?

Do you grow weary of your work and the monotony of the daily grind?

Do you ever feel like you’re being asked to give too much? Are you never quite able to tackle your long list of todos?

At the end of each day, do you find yourself absolutely and completely spent?

If you said yes to any of these, you might be suffering from being a real, live human being. And you might be guilty of actually living your life to the fullest. Congratulations.

Modern Man wastes both his innocence and his guilt. His innocence is squandered by sin, which brings the guilt (and rightly so). But then he goes and squanders the guilt, too, by trying to cure it, forget it or die in it.

Genuine guilt is not a psychological complex in need of curing or forgetting. Neither should it be cause for chronic depression. Guilt is an opportunity for profit. It’s your soul offering a correction of course, like those lane bumper thingies at the bowling alley. It’s there to help you learn and profit from your mistake.

Even when we have a healthy acknowledgement of guilt, it’s easy to spend too much time lamenting our failures or sins and not enough time profiting from them. The greatest saints, on the other hand — often having most wildly lost their innocence — are the ones who learned to profit most from their guilt…from their sin.

Our initial reaction to sin – a first step – must be contrition. But it is there, in such remorse, that also begins the profit. It is there where God draws close and works his greatest miracles. It is there that we learn a wisdom and humility that innocence will never teach to imperfect creatures like us.

“Sin is more profitable than innocence. Innocence had made me arrogant, sin made me humble.” – St. Ambrose

Fasting is not just an excuse to live a healthier life or kick some bad habits. Fasting can be a profound act of love and a powerful spiritual weapon. Here are some reasons I love it.

First, some demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting. (Mk 9:28)

Have something tough going on in your life? Or something you’ve struggled with for years but can’t seem to overcome? Maybe you’ve prayed about it over and over again and it doesn’t seem to be getting better? Prayerfully fast.

Second, it gives us solidarity with strangers. 

Fasting gives us a teeny, tiny glimpse of how billions of less fortunate people on this planet live every day. It helps us to feel for them so we don’t forget them.

Third, it sets you free to live your best life.

Jesus definitely loved a good party. But when he needed to prepare for the biggest mission of his life (i.e. the beginning of his public ministry), he fasted. During Lent, of course, fasting prepares us for the biggest party of the year. And your own fasting at any time will prepare you for the next big thing in your life.

Fasting is a means of penance, it helps you master your instincts and it wrenches you free from your vices. Once you have the power to say no to your carnal appetites, you are more free to say yes to God’s will in your life. Fasting is a path to genuine freedom.

Fourth, it helps you recognize God’s voice.

Fasting helps you tell your will from God’s will in your life. It distinguishes your voice from God’s voice. See, when you do some serious fasting, that whining-bellyaching voice in your head…that one is yours. The other one, that’s God’s. His is the still, small voice you hadn’t noticed before.

Fifth, it reminds you of the truth about yourself.

The truth is that we are weak. We are limited and in need of a limitless one. We are created, dependent upon a creator.

If we get into the bad habit of automatically quenching our every thirst, satisfying our every urge, we begin to forget that we are mortal. Let’s face it, we can continually stuff ourselves with the finest foods, yet we will still end up hungry again and again. It is good for us to instead periodically embrace that physical hunger and let it drive us toward something more lasting (Jn 6:48-51).

The truth is, we’re dust — and to dust we shall return. And not only are we made of dust, but so is most of the stuff we spend our time chasing every day. All of our money, possessions and earthly accomplishments are not important in themselves. They are all fleeting. They are all, ultimately, dust.

We can spend the rest of our lives chasing more dust, or we can spend it chasing the One who breathes life into dust? Think fast.

mother-teresa-prayingWhen we are stressed or feel overly burdened in life it’s usually because we’ve gotten our priorities out of order. Here are 7 of my favorite Mother Teresa quotes that will help. When read in this order, they are guaranteed to bring order and peace back to your life. Give them a try.

Step 1: Slow down.

“I think the world today is upside down. Everybody seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater development and greater riches and so on. There is much suffering because there is so very little love in homes and in family life. We have no time for our children, we have no time for each other; there is no time to enjoy each other. In the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.”

Step 2: Make some room.

“If you are discouraged it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own power. Your self-sufficiency, your selfishness and your intellectual pride will inhibit His coming to live in your heart because God cannot fill what is already full. It is as simple as that.”

Step 3: Open your eyes.

“Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”

Step 4: Put great love into the small things.

“In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

Step 5: Do not tire.

“Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.”

Step 6: Remember – it’s faithfulness, not success.

“God doesn’t ask that we succeed in everything, but that we are faithful. However beautiful our work may be, let us not become attached to it. Always remain prepared to give it up, without losing your peace.”

Step 7: Leave the rest to Jesus.

“Be humble and you will never be disturbed. It is very difficult in practice because we all want to see the result of our work. Leave it to Jesus.”

Radical tip: Give yourself 5-minutes each morning to read these again. It will change your life.

the best way to drink alcohol

If you want to be a good Christian, you should drink carelessly.

“In so far as drinking is really a sin it is not because drinking is wild, but because drinking is tame; not in so far as it is anarchy, but in so far as it is slavery.

Probably the worst way to drink is to drink medicinally. Certainly the safest way to drink is to drink carelessly; that is, without caring much for anything, and especially not caring for the drink. In such things to be careless is to be sane: for neither drunkards nor Moslems can be careless about drink.” – G. K. Chesterton, Wine when it is Red.

Chesterton gets it right where both our culture-of-excess and the puritans go wrong. The former is a slave to drink, the latter is enslaved by their reaction to it.

Our temptation, then, is to instead engage in moderation. All things in moderation, they say. Yet most things that we are to be “moderate” in were not meant to be moderated. Not directly anyway.

It’s like the fool in love worrying about the looking foolish part. Or, upon hearing exciting news, moderating exactly how high you will jump. The very moderation of the thing spoils the heart of it. The mechanics of life begin to spoil the spirit of it.

The common wisdom to “drink responsibly” really reads like a prescription. Feeling stressed? Need to unwind? Take 4 beers, some water before bed and a Tylenol in the morning. Do not mix with liquor or operate heavy machinery.

This is the worst kind of drinking. An abuse of the drink. Not because it is too wild, but because it is too tame. Not because it is careless, but because it is too careful. Not because it is anarchy, but because it is slavery.

Some rules for drinking:

“The sound rule in the matter would appear to be like many other sound rules – a paradox. Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable. Never drink when you are wretched without it, or you will be like the grey-faced gin-drinker in the slum; but drink when you would be happy without it, and you will be like the laughing peasant of Italy. Never drink because you need it, for this is rational drinking, and the way to death and hell. But drink because you do not need it, for this is irrational drinking, and the ancient health of the world.” – G. K. Chesterton

He also said “We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.” But we should do so because we don’t need it and because we’re happy without it. And we should most certainly do so with good company and glad hearts.

The virtue of temperance is the key. But such virtue is not practiced in the excess of license, nor is it promoted in the restriction of a measured cup. It lives in the fulfillment of the legitimate desires of a healthy, disciplined soul set free to live as it should. Set free to live carelessly.

(Thanks to my friend Kevin for sharing this Chertertonian wisdom with me over a careless beer.)

It’s an impressive thing to command a boardroom of executives. But it’s still far better to engage a bored room of toddlers.

It’s also much more needed.

The proper raising of children (which involves both mothers and fathers) will solve more ailments of our time than any government program, school system or equal opportunity ever will. It will also bring more joy, satisfaction, meaning and purpose to anyone who is so blessed to be called to such a vocation.

So many moms feel inadequate if they don’t have a successful career or a college degree or some other achievement to go along with their title of “mom.” All of those other things are great. They truly are. And it’s wonderful if anyone is blessed to achieve them. They may even make someone a better mom.

So by all means pursue them if you are called, but remember that no amount of other titles will ever be “enough” for your child, other than that of “mom.” (This applies uniquely to fathers, too. More on fatherhood soon.)

I’m in constant awe of my wife. She has the most prestigious job there is (mother) and she continually sacrifices her own interests for those of her husband and the tiny souls we’ve been entrusted with. Every single one of us are called to such sacrifice.

When you begin to live in this way, shoving all of your selfish interests aside — when you get your own selfish ambitions out of the way — you begin to see the simple and miraculous life God planned for you.

That life looks a little different for each of us. But I’m not sure if there’s anything more glorious than the life of a mother.

“A mother cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral—a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace…God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation. What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this—to be a mother?” – Cardinal Mindzenty

We so greatly value people who are able to maximize their productivity and accomplish so much with so little. Well, motherhood is the epitome of both.

The mother produces the most from the least. From nothing (and all by God’s grace), she helps bring forth something unlike any product: A human person. An eternal being. She produces not just things, but producers. She grows not just things to love, but lovers. What’s more glorious than that?

One of the biggest traps we fall in to is measuring ourselves by what other people do and think. It’s so hard not to do.

Social media is constantly flaunting the best of other people’s lives while taunting us with temptation to do the same. Of course, it’s not a bad thing to share your life with others. But when we constantly share it in a way that is immediately measured by what other people think (comments, likes, shares, RTs, etc.) we begin to value everything we have and do in terms of what other people think about them.

It’s too easy to end up mis-using the blessings in our lives as a means to impress others. Or a tool to communicate our success to outsiders. Or a means of getting attention, earning respect, being affirmed, or a cause for praise that fluffs our self-esteem and quiets our insecurities.

We end up valuing everything in our life based upon what it means to others — rather than what it means to us. Whether they will like it vs. whether we like it. Whether it’s meaningful to others vs. whether it’s meaningful to me. Whether others think it’s right vs. whether God does.

Let’s be honest, from the outside looking in, my life looks pretty ordinary. My car, my house, my job, my front door, my computer, my clothes, my friends and family. The average onlooker wouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. So if I judge my life by the perspective of outsiders looking in, I will feel pretty ordinary.

What a tragedy to trade reality for such a dull perspective! But when you constantly worry about how outsiders see your life, you’ll end up struggling just not to feel ordinary.

Rather, look anew at your seemingly ordinary life. Instead, think less of what others think, and see the gifts you’ve been given from the perspective of what they mean to *you*. Every single ordinary looking thing in your life is there to aid you on a very specific and important mission. A mission to serve an important purpose that nobody else on the planet can serve except for you. They are not ordinary…for you.

Never stop marveling at how you got them. Be thankful for them. Recognize how special they are.

Then all of a sudden your front door doesn’t seem so ordinary, no matter how ordinarily it’s been made. For through that ordinary looking door passes daily the precious souls of the ones you love. It provides shelter to the same. It marks the boundary of a warm, safe place called home. Not just any home, but *your* home. The home you’re building. There’s nothing ordinary about that door…to you.

Then all of a sudden your plain, old boring car that looks like a million other cars out there doesn’t seem so ordinary any more. For it carries you and your family to your daily destinies. Through its ordinary windows are seen the extraordinary fields and trees and lights and beauty of a world that lines our roads.

That ordinary dinner that you make all the time, the one that tastes like what anyone might get at any other dinner table, is not so ordinary any more. For specifically by it, and by no other meal, the ones you love get the energy they need to move and grow. And specifically by that very meal you come together to pray, to be thankful, to love and share with one another. That is no ordinary meal…to you.

Your life may seem ordinary to other people, that’s fine. But don’t let it be ordinary…to you.

We’re off to a new year, which means new beginnings! New beginnings are essential to the Christian life. At any moment, no matter how badly we’ve messed up or what bad habits we’ve acquired, we can choose to start anew.

And there will be some new things around here this new year!

First, I’ve committed myself to write more. So you’re going to see a lot more blog posts (don’t worry, the email list will still only get one email a week or so). Second, my family and I have been working toward some exciting (perhaps even *radical*) new lifestyle choices. More to come on that soon. And finally, I’m going to share with you some really neat Radical Life projects I’ve been working on.

One such project is an eBooklet. It’s called Messy and Foolish: How to make a mess, be a fool and change the world. I’ll try to get it to you in the next few weeks. It will be a quick, easy read and totally free. I think you’ll really like it, so hang out for that.

Another involves a series of really simple, individual *programs* (for lack of a better word) that will help a person do things like be more productive, humble, holy, careless, generous and much (much) more. I’ll announce how that is going to work early this year when I launch the first one.

I’m so thankful

I’m so thankful for every one of you who read The Radical Life. It’s been truly astonishing how quickly this group has grown and we are only just getting started.

If you need any help on your new year’s resolutions, here are some ideas (with accompanying posts):

I hope those help you get off to a great new beginning this year!

- Matt

 

santa-shhDisclaimer: Just so everyone’s clear…if you choose not to “do Santa,” I don’t think you’re a grinch out to ruin the magic of your kids’ childhood. In fact, in my experience, you’re most likely an outstanding parent whose thoughtfulness should be commended. Every child should be so blessed. I just think many parents struggle with aspects of Santa that really shouldn’t be struggles at all. In fact, I think they’re big opportunities. Here are some thoughts…

My wife and I play a game with our two year old son. It involves catching a fish. You never know if it’s gonna be a little, tiny fish – or a great, big whale of a fish. You can play this game on the bed, on the floor, pretty much anywhere.

To begin, you have to look very carefully all around you to try and find a fish just under the surface of the water. Once you spot one, you try to snatch it out of the water with your bare hands! But you have to be quick – because fish are very quick.

Once you’ve caught a fish, it’s a bit of a juggling act. The fish is usually squirming and flopping around – as a fish out of water does. So it’s usually quite a struggle and a workout to keep the fish from getting away, especially if it’s a big one! The fish is very hard to hold on to – as fish are very slippery. Once you start getting tired of trying to hold on to this jumping, squirming fish, you pass him off to another person so they can wrestle with it for awhile. Eventually, the fish gets away and you start over again. It’s hilarious, just ask my son!

Now, is the existence of the fish in this goofy game a part of an elaborate lie? Of course not. We were just using our imagination and teaching our son to do the same. We also showed him how using our imagination lets us have a lot of fun with very little. More importantly, we used our imagination to learn about something that is very, very real. Just because we imagine something doesn’t mean it’s not real. We imagine real things all the time.

Does my two year old fully understand the difference between our fishing game and real fishing yet? Not quite. But one day he will. And in the process he’s learning a lot of real things about real fish…even if we exaggerate and have some fun with it in the process. (Note: this is not supposed to be an analogy for Santa, it’s to point out that what is “real” in the mind of a child is established in a very abstract way over years of their life…and that the distinction of precisely which parts and in which ways those parts are “real” or “not real” is, first, not a simple black and white answer and, second, something clarified over time…and that’s okay. Our insistence on immediately and forcefully classifying every thing neatly as either factually true or a lie is “an impoverished understanding of the nature of language, of thought, and of truth.”)

So what about Santa Claus?

We live in a culture that has taken Christ out of Christmas. Our appetite for material goods is insatiable. Our religion, a cult of consumerism. Our dogma, the marketing maxims of slick sales execs that have redefined for us what it means to be “prepared” for Christmas. Rather than prayer, fasting and repentance, we prepare by just buying lots of stuff. And they’ve made Santa Claus the spokesperson.

So it’s no surprise that, as a reaction to all that, some have been tempted to throw Santa Claus right out and get back to the “reason for the season.” And besides, why do we tell such “lies” to our kids about some imaginary man in a sleigh anyway?

Well, I’ll tell you.

First, the story of Santa Claus is a Christian story. Hello! When told properly, it points to and emphasizes Jesus Christ. So, it’s actually one of the (fun) ways to “get back to the reason for the season.” And kids like fun.

Second, therefore, Santa Claus is not the problem. The commercialization of Christmas has victimized him as much as any of us. In fact, I’m pretty sure the real Santa Claus isn’t taking all of this too lightly, either.

Which brings me to my next point, Santa Claus is a real person. So it’s not a lie to say that Santa Claus is real. He has died, yes. But he’s not really dead. He’s alive in heaven, which means he’s more fully alive than any of us.

Santa Claus = Sinter Klaas = Sint Nikolaas = Saint Nicholas. Make it a lesson in linguistics for your kids. Santa means Saint. A Saint is someone who has lived a life of heroic virtue. A life worth mimicking. A life worth observing. A life worth learning from. A life that points to Christ.

Saint Nicholas was a 4th century bishop in the Church. And his spirit of giving and serving the poor is worth remembering by re-enacting (and imagining) his life and then learning from it. More importantly, the reason he served the poor and gave of himself so much is because he served Christ at the center of his life. And he did so with heroic enough virtue that we remember it thousands of years later. We are all called to live lives like that. That’s the radical call of being a Christian (not necessarily to dramatically cast out all the fun in our lives!).

The point is that Santa can’t just be somebody we get stuff from.

He’s a kind of model for our life – just like every “Saint.” He’s somebody we can teach our kids to look at and say, “do you see how generous and giving he is? That’s what God calls us to be every day, and especially during this important religious season when we celebrate the greatest gift mankind has ever received, Jesus.”

The giving must be emphasized, not the receiving. But you can’t have one without the other! So the question for our family is, simply, which are we focused on? and therefore, what are our kids learning is most important? The giving…or the receiving?

And it’s okay if your 4 year old gets more excited about Santa than she does about baby Jesus. That probably means you have a healthy 4-year-old who can’t grasp the magnitude and deep theological significance of redemption, eternal salvation and God becoming a man. Even most adults struggle with it. Let’s not strip the fun out of our kids’ lives because they realize a jolly fat man in a red suit who flies around in a sleigh with magical reindeer giving gifts is more exciting than a baby in a manger. Any religion that wants to last longer than a single generation must acknowledge this simple childhood truth.

We just have to make sure that as kids get older they continue to learn the depth of the Santa story as they are able. And how that jolly fat man who gives presents is not there to give us presents, but to show us how to give. And he’s not doing so because you’ve been good, he’s doing so because giving is what life is all about. And the most radical way that old Saint Nick lived this out was not with the gift of presents, but with the giving of his entire life to Jesus Christ and the way he lived it in service to Him.

Personally, I think we should tell the Santa story to our children the same way we tell any great story. Let them pretend along with you. Let them learn in time what is true about the story and what isn’t. What is important about the story and what isn’t. And more importantly, help them learn the deeper (and very real) truths contained within it. And along with that, of course, use it to help them understand the infinitely more significant and completely true story of Jesus.

Does that mean your kids might not buy the whole story – hook, line and sinker? Maybe. Let them question. But also let them wonder. A child’s wonder should be kindled to flame, not stamped out with the cold hard facts as quickly as possible.

Let them wonder.

But to be clear, it is not the goal here at all to deceive our kids, it’s to tell the great story. Too many parents get this backwards. They get too caught up on trying to make their kids literally believe every bit of it. That’s not the point. And, for me, that can easily become lying, which is never good. Be honest with them, but don’t let the wrong details distract them.

Just look at the book of Genesis. If you read the story of creation and get caught up on whether everything was made in 6 literal days or not, you’re missing the whole point of the story. The writer didn’t feel the need to clarify certain obvious questions of *fact* when telling that story. Does that mean they were intending to deceive? Not at all. They were telling a better story and teaching a more important truth in the process.

I get it.

It’s a legitimate criticism that the story of Santa too often overshadows the story of Jesus. It’s so true. And that must be corrected. Yes, the feast of St. Nicholas on Dec. 6 should be the main time we celebrate Saint Nick. But the fact is that a feature of our culture, whether we like it or not, is that Santa helps us celebrate Christmas. We can co-opt and run with that, or we can opt out and waste a big opportunity. I think the former is what the Church has done repeatedly throughout history with much success.

Let the malls and the advertisements and the chatter and pictures of Santa be like the pages of a great story book come to life and we’re all characters! I think we’ll have more success reminding people of the reason for the season if we join in the drama rather than opt out.

Do we need more Jesus inserted into the mix? Absolutely. At every turn. And He must remain central to the overall narrative we teach our children during this time of year. But don’t bail on Santa. If you look close enough, his jolly red suit is a giant red arrow pointing straight to Jesus. We just have to make sure and follow the arrow when it shows up.

We’ve become boring story tellers.

Our modern scientific minds have turned us into impotent story tellers. Telling stories is an art performance, not a repeating of scientifically verifiable facts. There are lots of ways to tell this story without lying to our kids. If your conscience is bothering you about it, then it probably means you should be telling the story a little differently.

I like to think of it this way. When we read a good bed time story, we read it like it’s real because it’s more fun and impactful that way. You learn more and it exercises the imagination. But at the end when your kid asks, “is that really real, Daddy?” the answer is rarely as simple as a yes or no.

Do princesses and castles exist? Yes, honey. Does princess Jasmine? well, no. Or maybe she did exist, but this story is only partially true about her. Or maybe she never existed, but the situations in the story are real. Maybe the scene is made up but the lesson is not. Does magic exist? No, not really. But do some moments in life feel magical? Absolutely. Are super heroes real? Yes, although they may look differently than you think. Dad, does anyone really have special powers? Yes, but not like you are thinking…better ones, that you’ll only think are better when you’re older and wiser.

You have to be the judge on how much you answer now or allow to be answered in time. When your child asks “Is Santa really real?” a simple yes or no is not sufficient. If they are ready, maybe you tell them which parts are real and which aren’t and explain right then at a level they can understand. Or, maybe you ask them what they think and you let them think about it for awhile. Maybe you let them think about it for years. But it’s still a story worth telling.

A child’s mind is such a dynamic place – and forming it doesn’t happen in a single moment. With Santa, instead of finding out the full story immediately in one sentence, maybe they find it in good time as they are ready (like every good story you’ll ever tell them).

It makes for a fun story when we let Santa eat the cookies and deliver the presents. But kids soon learn that Santa had a few partners along the way to get the job done.

Good myths are the ones we grow in to – not out of.

And if that’s not enough, read why G.K. Chesterton still believes in Santa and this now-classic wondrous response to Virginia.