I’m not a Santa lover, honestly. But a reader sent me a longer version of the anonymous story below, and I knew I would share it with you. I’ve taken liberties with the prose and adapted it to fit here – for those who do enjoy the old elf:
One evening, while preparing for bed, I heard a noise in the front room. To my surprise, Santa stepped out from behind our decorated Christmas fir.
“What are you doing?” I started to ask, but stopped when I saw tears in his eyes. Gone was the merry, boisterous soul of legend.
With one quick movement, he brought his bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, he said, “TEACH THE CHILDREN! Teach them what Christmas really means.”
Touching our FIR TREE, he carried on. “Teach the children that the needles point heavenward, and that the unfading pure green color is a symbol of God’s hope for mankind.
From his bag, he pulled a brilliant STAR. “Teach the children that God promised a Savior for the world, and the star pointed to Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of His promise.” Out came a CANDLE. “Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, the One who displaces every darkness within and around us.” Removing a WREATH from the bag, he placed it on the tree. “Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes God’s everlasting love, without beginning or end.
He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. “Teach the children that the holly plant represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior, and the red berries remind us of the blood he shed for us on the cross. Out of the bag, he next pulled out a GIFT. “Teach the children about the best gift of all: that God loved the world so much he sent us Jesus, his only Son. And that whoever believes in him will have life unending.
“Teach the children that the wise men bowed before the Holy Babe, and presented him with carefully pondered, precious gifts. And that we should give gifts in the same wise spirit.
Santa then reached in his bag, pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. “Teach the children that this represents the crook which shepherds use to bring back lost sheep. Let it remind them that God will never stop searching for us; even when we’re lost.
Out of his bag Santa now drew an ANGEL. “Teach the children how angels announced Jesus’ birth: “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and goodwill toward men.” A twinkle shone in Santa’s eyes now, as from his bag he pulled an ORNAMENT of himself and placed it on a bottom branch, at the very back of the tree. “Teach the children that I am nothing but a symbol of cheerful giving and generosity. Tell them that Jesus is the center of Christmas – never me. And come, let us adore HIM, Christ, the LORD.
Blessed Christmas, all.
For more images and paintings similar to the one I’ve posted above, visit Gaye Frances Willard’s site.