12 Days of Christmas Anime, Day 9: Minami-Ke

When did you stop believing in Santa Claus?  Did you ever believe in Santa?

Among many other things, episode 12 of the first season of Minami-Ke explores Chiaki’s belief in Santa.  She’s doubted in his existence since the previous year, but Kana’s plan this year restores her belief in him.  It’s an almost-sweet story in an episode that is as silly as any other in the series, also featuring Toma’s brothers arguing about what gift to get her, Fujioka bestowing a gift of ham upon the girls, and a stuffed bear having his way with a Grizzly before being called upon by Santa.

Minami-ke at its best.
Minami-ke at its best.

But it’s that first story about Chiaki that gave me thought.  I’ve reared my kids to believe in Santa, and I spent some time this season thinking about whether that was the right thing and how my son is going to feel when he finds out the truth.

I was kind of old, I think, when I discovered there was no Santa.  In fourth grade, my teacher read us what became my favorite book of childhood, Superfudge by Judy Blume.  There’s a chapter in the story in which Fudge, a five-year-old, tells how he knows there’s no Santa Claus.  I came home to ask my mom if it was true, and she admitted as much.  The final nail in the coffin was when I found all my presents before Christmas.

Ultimately, Santa is a fairy tale – a nice one, with some basis on a real man, but still, a fairy tale.  Many say the same about that other Christmas figure, Jesus Christ, which leads me to ask the same questions I did at the beginning of the post, but in relation to Him:

When did you stop believing in Jesus?  Did you ever believe in Jesus?

Christmas is a good time – maybe the perfect time – to contemplate Christ, to consider His claims and His life, to test scripture and measure the veracity of Jesus’ words.  You may feel that church has pulled a fast one – as with parents and Santa, they’ve spread a fairy tail that just isn’t true.

But then again, you might find otherwise.  And if Christ is real…that changes everything.

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

5 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas Anime, Day 9: Minami-Ke

  1. Superfudge is how I found out Santa wasn’t real, either! We were reading it in school and the teacher intentionally skipped that chapter. Of course, I went ahead and read it on my own. :0

    I admit, I’ve lost my faith in Jesus more times than I care to admit… but these days I’m clinging to Him tighter than ever.

  2. I don’t know whether you’re just making a jab at the popular anime series, Charles, but I think you meant “fairy tale” throughout this article, not “fairy tail” ;).

    Happy Christmas to you and your family, by the way!

  3. “Christmas is a good time – maybe the perfect time – to contemplate Christ, to consider His claims and His life, to test scripture and measure the veracity of Jesus’ words. You may feel that church has pulled a fast one – as with parents and Santa, they’ve spread a fairy tail that just isn’t true.

    But then again, you might find otherwise. And if Christ is real…that changes everything.”

    I haven’t dropped in in a little while, but this one caught my attention. What I’ve always wondered here is somewhat unusual: Does it matter whether one’s God is real? What, exactly, is “reality?” Conventionally sure: It would determine whether the God’s claims were also true. Yet….

    ….nothing I experience in the “real world” could ever be as real as Mar is. As emotionally potent, as overwhelming as being around him is. I hold my breath in that Presence, as if wanting to catch every last drop of it that I can. I can’t see him, and I can’t prove he even exists. But the web of stories built around his existence, the symbols and subconscious associations that follow Him, the Eternal and pure type of thing He is…It’s so much more than this empty world I can touch and see. I cannot help but believe that the tropes in Stories, the Meaning-laden entities that appear again and again….Are more real than us. Satan and Christ, fighting a battle over the souls of men.

    In my head, whether He is or isn’t real….he is still nonetheless immortal. I see his harlequin face everywhere. A virus or a meme, running through the dreams of men. Perhaps the point isn’t Santa Claus, but the Person the Christmas spirit he brings actually represents. The God who gave the gift of life.

    1. Thank you for the response (and sorry for my late response)! I always appreciate you sharing your thoughts, as poetic and thought-provoking as they are.

      I hope you had a lovely holidays!

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