To speak of an experience of someone or something is to invoke the totality of the person or thing beyond any specific quality or attribute. We may, of course, have this or that experience with Santa Claus, e.g., "John had a pleasant experience with Santa Claus," or, "After Kimberly's experience with Santa Claus she converted to Islam," or, "I saw Mommy having an experience with Santa Claus." But the individuals . . . who claim to have had an experience of Santa Claus are referencing an altogether grander, more transformational, and more existentially significant thing.

Who are these individuals?

Most of them are children. Indeed, we would be surprised were this not the case, since children are to Santa Claus as schizophrenics are to psychiatrists, i.e., the former comprise the natural constituency of the latter. This analogy may be expressed in a more graphical form thus:

Children → Santa Claus :: Schizophrenics → Psychiatrists

This is not to imply that all children are schizophrenics or that Santa Claus is a psychiatrist. One could just as easily have rendered a different but equally valid analogy, e.g.:

Children → Santa Claus :: Operagoers → Pavarotti

This is a very powerful expression with equally powerful implications. Consider: Pavarotti is, within the larger population of adults, a leader in his field and world famous. So is Santa Claus. Thus we may expand the operation:

Santa Claus → Adults :: Pavarotti → Adults

And, since

Adults = Adults

Then it follows that

Santa Claus = Pavarotti


I seem to have proven that Santa Claus is Luciano Pavarotti. This is not something I intended to do...

—from Santa Lives!