In a Word: Wish

Like many of the things most real to us, wishes have never been seen by anybody

“Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that does not mean there is no Santa Claus.”

“Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that does not mean there is no Santa Claus.”

 

Dear Editor,

My name is Leo and some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. My advisers said: “If you see it in The Irish Times, it’s true.”

So please tell me: is there a Santa Claus?

Leo,

Government Buildings, Dublin 2.

Yes, Leo, there is a Santa Claus. Your friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. Yes, Leo, indeed there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, as direct provision centres, homeless hostels and hospital queues too.

You, Leo, should know Santa exists better than most. Did you not ask him to make you Taoiseach before you were 40? You were Taoiseach at 38!

Did you not ask him to send your way a tall, dark and handsome cardiologist from Mayo? You did. And he did. Yes, a rare win at the top for Mayo.

You asked him to get Fianna Fáil to support you in Government? He has done so, and for almost three years?

So how can you, of all people, ask whether there is a Santa Claus?

Yes, Leo, there is a Santa Claus but you need to reflect more deeply before giving in to the anxieties of your doubting friends Simon and Eoghan.

Of course they are worried. Of course health and housing are a problem.

Yet, how can you forget, despite frequent reminders, the general Santa clause, as written in those big letters at the North Pole: “Difficult Is Done At Once, The Impossible Takes A Little Longer”?

Not believe in Santa Claus, Leo! And because you and your friends can’t see him? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that does not mean there is no Santa Claus.

Think of him like Brexit. Nothing else has been more discussed in these island since June 2016 (and before) yet not one person, not one boy or girl anywhere, has yet seen Brexit. That does not mean it doesn’t exist.

Leo, the most real things in the world are those that neither children nor adults can see. Sometimes politicians, too.

Alas, how dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Leos.

Happy Christmas.

The Editor.

Wish, from Old English wyscan, “to wish, cherish a desire”.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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