Here’s something new for the Symbolic World blog.
I, the chief editor, Cormac Jones, just published Norm Grondin’s article “Animating Spirit: I Believe in God, Santa Claus, and an Elf on the Shelf.” It’s the second yuletide season in a row — after last year’s article by Cameron Dixon entitled “Santa Claus as the Hypostasis of Christmas” — that the blog has extended Jonathan Pageau’s ideas about Santa Claus, first articulated in his classic 2018 video “Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy Exist.” Both Cameron’s and Norm’s ideas on this topic are well within the range of symbolic thinking and worth the time of our readers. The problem is I agree with neither of them! And people should know that’s okay, too. I was loathe to give our readers the impression that there was one party line to hold to when it came to symbolic thinking and the issue of Santa Claus — not when I knew I felt differently and had the sense that others I knew behind the scenes harbored differing thoughts as well.
Seeking to confirm that sense, I sent out some feelers and solicited some writing. I found plenty of skepticism akin to my own, but writing appeared not to be the way to explore it. What we needed to do was have a conversation. So a few of us did the thing, and here are the results. Possibly we could do more recordings like this in the future, or maybe this’ll be a one-off. For now, as they say about a certain soft drink — enjoy.