Don’t let his appearance fool you. Santa may not look like a movie star but neither is he just a jolly old guy in a red outfit. He has the biggest heart, gives fabulous hugs, smiles from ear to ear, and is wise and compassionate to all, regardless of religious or political beliefs. He sees everyone as his family and cares about each of us. Which makes him totally radical. As far as it’s concerned, he walks his talk. Here’s what Santa excels at:

1. He has amazing psychic powers: he flies in the sky with reindeer, descends chimneys without getting covered in soot, can be in many places at the same time, and yet is extraordinarily elusive. Has anyone actually ever seen him??

2. He encourages rituals and invokes magic in every child’s life: letter writing, stocking filling, decorations, milk and cookies. Ritual and magic invoke the beauty of the unknown.

3. He asks us to do good and be good. Now that’s a big one, as many of us tend to being selfish and greedy.

4. He gives to everyone, even if you are naughty or nice, without needing to receive anything in return, but he doesn’t give blindly. Rather he judges what’s the most appropriate gift for each. This is important, as giving needs skillfulness in order to be of most benefit.

5. He listens to our requests and reads all our letters. Meaning that he takes time to hear us and to pay attention, which we all could learn from.

6. He knows where we live. In other words, he is inside each one of us. The inner Santa!

7. Most importantly, he lifts our spirits even at the darkest time, bringing laughter, giggles and joy, which is undoubtedly the greatest gift of all. Just the sound of his name makes children squeal with glee.

Through giving to others, a la Santa, we turn selfishness into generosity and connect to a deep quality of kindness. Giving, helping others—whether a smile, our time, a listening ear—is profoundly joyful, both to the receiver and the giver. Through giving and sharing in this way, we gain so much.

Is there a Santa in your heart?