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Why G.K. Chesterton Believed in Santa Claus


G.K. Chesterton, the wondrous apostle of sanity explains why, as he grew into adulthood, his belief in Santa Claus increased: 

GKC-santa "What has happened to me has been the very reverse of what appears to be the experience of most of my friends. Instead of dwindling to a point, Santa Claus has grown larger and larger in my life until he fills almost the whole of it. It happened in this way.

"As a child I was faced with a phenomenon requiring explanation.  I hung up at the end of my bed an empty stocking, which in the morning became a full stocking.  I had done nothing to produce the things that filled it.  I had not worked for them, or made them or helped to make them. I had not even been good — far from it.

"And the explanation was that a certain being whom people called Santa Claus was benevolently disposed toward me...What we believed was that a certain benevolent agency did give us those toys for nothing.  And, as I say, I believe it still.  I have merely extended the idea.

"Then I only wondered who put the toys in the stocking; now I wonder who put the stocking by the bed, and the bed in the room, and the room in the house, and the house on the planet, and the great planet in the void.

"Once I only thanked Santa Claus for a few dollars and crackers.  Now, I thank him for stars and street faces, and wine and the great sea. Once I thought it delightful and astonishing to find a present so big that it only went halfway into the stocking.  Now I am delighted and astonished every morning to find a present so big that it takes two stockings to hold it, and then leaves a great deal outside; it is the large and preposterous present of myself, as to the origin of which I can offer no suggestion except that Santa Claus gave it to me in a fit of peculiarly fantastic goodwill."

Read more from G.K. Chesterton on Santa Claus here (PDF):




vogt Brandon Vogt. "Why G.K. Chesterton Believed in Santa Claus." Brandon Vogt (December, 2014).

Reprinted with permission from Brandon Vogt.

The Author

Vogt1vogtsmbookBrandon Vogt is a bestselling and award-winning author, blogger, and speaker who serves as content director for Fr. Robert Barron's Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Vogt was one of the millennial "nones" when it came to religion until, as a mechanical engineering student at Florida State University, he began a passionate search for truth. That search led him unexpectedly to the Catholic Church in 2008. In 2013, he started, the largest site of dialogue between Catholics and atheists. He is the author of Why I Am Catholic (and You Should Be Too)The Saints' Favorite Books: Read What They Read, Become Who They Are, Saints and Social Justice: A Guide to Changing the World, CATHOLICISM: The New Evangelization, and The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet.

Copyright © 2014 Brandon Vogt
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