Saturday, December 3, 2011

Santa Responds: or What Has 38 Legs, and Flies?


MoTheThird vs. Christmas (Round Two)
Santa, the Ageless Spirit

            Christmas is a favorite time for many. Strangers helping strangers, wish one another, “season’s greetings,” and generosity prompts people to give, expecting nothing tangible in return. Many flock to the overlooked and down trodden during this season of love and giving. This season, however, would not be the same if it were not for our favorite friend in red…
You want me to  what?...You must be kidding!...How do you expect me to do that?...Am I on Candid Camera?...Good. If you show me THEN maybe I’ll believe you.
Convincing Santa of his duties would be a little hard. But Santa has grown into something more than little children waiting for an elfin bearer of gifts. He has become the embodiment of selfless giving and purity of heart. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. He is seen wherever love and generosity prompt action. And shown where selflessness and purity rise to giving. He thrives in the innocence of people making snow angels, and pressing against frosted windows to see the impression of their faces.
We come to this most wonderful time year, and see Santa’s spirit as many take time out of their chaotic holiday schedules to volunteer at shelters and kitchens. Of course, as we’re dashing through the snow, we can’t all stop what we’re doing and work at a shelter.
“Are you nuts? How am I supposed to read this twice? I have a life you know. What do you mean, ‘not really?’ Whatever! So, you’re just saying that I am going to know… Even if I’ve never seen the kid before?... Fine!”
However, many more of us choose to give of our finances, depositing money into the red canisters of bell-ringers trying to bring cheer to a less fortunate group.

As over the river and through the woods, to grandmother’s house we go, we think of love shared among family and friends. The selfless giving spirit of dear old Kris Kringle is evident in the heartfelt exchanging of gifts. As moms and dads, siblings and cousins, all join the merry songs of the seasons.
You know, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph…Yeah, I did. But I didn’t think that you meant here… They are big and dirty, and if they don’t stop grazing soon, I won’t have a lawn by tomorrow.”
As we’re walking through winter wonderlands, or gliding along with the song of wint’ry fairylands, we can’t help but notice the glowing faces of the youth all around. As they stand, their eyes cast heavenward hoping for a glimpse of reindeer, running a pre-Christmas flight, working all the kinks out, preparing for the big day. Every day to Christmas Eve you can see the tiny children slipping timidly into the lap of the famed man and whispering cautiously into his ear those things she would like to see sticking out from beneath the bottom bough of the Christmas tree.
Okay, I’m here. Now what? Did I do what? No. No. NO! I am drawing the line, right there. Why don’t I just go through the door? Yes, “security system” means something to me, but, not as much as “filthy chimney and flaming hot fireplace.” And what about dogs? And Guns? I know that I would…whoa! What do you mean, ‘good luck?’ This isn’t funny…Hello?! Hello?!
The innocent belief in Santa is perfectly shown in the 1994 box office hit, The Santa Clause, “Seeing is believing. Believing is seeing. Kids don’t have to see this place to know that it’s here. They just know.” The spirit of Santa lies in the heart of the child who leaves the plate of cookies and glass of milk for the busiest man of the night.
But, it came upon a midnight clear. The gift giver and the gift are the most wonderful part of the story of Christmas. As the very name Christmas suggests the gift of Christ. From the best giver, the ultimate gift, to the most needy receiver. The innocent Christ having sacrificed deity, the little Lord Jesus lay down his sweet head. The giving and sacrificial spirit of Santa is seen away in a manger.
Okay, you were right. I enjoyed the ride and the thoughts of the children’s faces when they open up the gifts. But right now, I am just looking forward to a long winter’s nap… What do you mean, “inventory?”
The Scrooges, the Grinches, and the general grumpy pants people, say it’s a seasonal marketing ploy. But, as long as there are those giving sacrificially, lovingly unconditionally, and believing innocently in something they can never see, then Santa will live in Christmas. For some, he’s just a mythical figure whose exploits are misplaced in civilized society. For others, he is the usurper of Christmas’s focus from Christ. For some, he is a jolly old man in a store window. But Christmas without Santa is like a song without harmony… It just lacks a little something.
Because he’s giving, loving and innocence, and those are pretty key to Christmas. 
Photo: WhisperingSoul