When I was five I was afraid of Santa Claus. The beard, the glasses and the big fat body were all real factors. But also who could really tell what he looked like covered in red velvet and white fluff? Santa had a low ho ho ho ho which did not sound jolly. If you asked me at five it sounded more like a barking dog which I was not too found of either.
On this particular Christmas, I was willing to forfeit all my wishes for a cinnamon doll, a purse, and an easy bake oven for nothing but safety from Santa. My request to my mother was to phone Santa and tell him not to come. I can still after 45 years visualize the yellow telephone attached to the wall with the boingy cord attached. She went to the phone and told him the problem. My brothers were so angry with me not even session of name calling would help.
Christmas Eve came and the most beautiful part about it was the Silent Night singing candlelit church. We got home and had some snacks and a night family gathering. Grandma stayed over at our house and slept on the couch right by the fireplace. I was lying in bed thinking about the prospects of seeing Santa anyway. I could see the living room from my bedroom. I couldn’t lay awake very long.
Waking up Christmas morning, I heard two thumps. It was my brothers coming down the hallway to check out the living room then they ran to my room, pounced on me, and said- He came! He came!
At age five, Santa came despite my wish for his absence. He gave me some of the things I wished for. He came quietly and without me knowing. I had slept all the way through it. Grandma said, he was so quiet, even she didn’t here him and she was sleeping right there in the living room.
Year after year, I tell that story to my classroom kids. I’ve not told it to my own yet. Year after year, I find that kids can relate to this story. They want Santa to come to their house, but he is a little bit of a scary looking man. What Santa stands for is much stronger than a visit from a man in a suit, with a beard and sometimes glasses! He brings us joy . He is good. He thinks of others before himself. He comes to remind us to believe – have faith.
Too many years later, the lesson of Santa Claus has grown to a larger one. I know what it means to believe in something that you aren’t sure about – you don’t fully have all the facts. Believing means being satisfied even without the facts. Baby steps to Faith in the One that is Christmas.
And more than ever do we need to believe. So much even in this last year we have seen a real crumbling of our world. The older I get the more sin is abounding around me. I’ve lost that child like faith and need it back again to be fully satisfied in the Savior that we so desperately need. I am not sure why or how God came fully in a the form of a baby who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Why did He leave all the glories of heaven to come down to the stink of a stable. More and more I need to be satisfied in the One who is more than Santa Claus. He is our Savior. He came even though we may have feared it. He came and will come again even though we don’t know when and can’t understand how. He is more than the faith and goodness and mystery of Santa. He is our Lord and Savior.
I want Him to come. Come this Christmas in the joy of the life that morning. Come and let us adore You. Come and let us know the same wonder that those who witnessed it live. Come Lord Jesus and enter in again to this weary dark world. Come our Lord and Savior.