Who Needs Santa
by Sheldon Bass
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Inspired by the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=OExXItDyWEY&vq=medium
Who Needs Santa?
Wonder was in the air. Twinkling lights in glorious colors winked at little Angelina’s soul as she snuggled deep into the living room sofa. The familiar chorus of Hark the Herald Angels Sing, sweetly embraced her heart with warmth. Scents of cinnamon and pine mingled with the mouthwatering aroma of chocolate chip cookies warm from the oven, and drifted throughout the house. The whole clan: grandpa, mother and father and three children lit up the scene with smiles, while laughing and hugging. Beautifully wrapped tokens of love were being exchanged and opened with wide eyed merriment.
In the hearth, orange flames licked at hickory logs precisely stacked, wafting the fire’s toasty warmth through the pristinely decorated home. Peace and joy reigned—wrapping around the snug family like a strong embrace from the heavenly Father. Grandpa sat in the wooden rocker as he did every year, biting on the stem of his unlit pipe and staring into the fire. Eighteen month old Alice, cooed and giggled in his lap, while stalwart arms protectively encircled the latest child.
Even 15 year old brother William had caught the spirit of cheer, putting aside the usual teasing of his sister, Angelina, who was 6 years younger. She was at that age when the truth about Santa had just been discovered. Her quiet, thoughtful face reflected the musings of sundry, fuzzy sensations inside. Heartfelt and bubbling up into a new kind of joy.
Angelina turned a thoughtful gaze of adoration towards her father, who sat in a stuffed chair with his ankles crossed on an ottoman. Her mouth corners stretched up widely, dotting her right cheek with a dimple, as the red, green, blue and white colors of the Christmas tree lights glinted off his face. She considered all the years past, when father and mother had taken such great pains to make Christmas special for everyone. It was him all along. Dad was Santa, and much more.
Just last week Angelina had given her heart to Jesus. And this was the eve of His birthday. But most of the kids at school had talked only of Santa, and the presents he would bring this year. They also shared their Christmas wish lists, and boasted of bygone years and all the treasured items they had acquired from the mystical man in the red suit. Bicycles and action figures, the latest i-phones, games and X-boxes.
Angelina couldn’t help saying it. “Who needs Santa, when we have Jesus—and you Daddy?”
Mother sauntered into the living room, proffering a tray of assorted cookies, homemade fudge, and eggnog. Slowly she made her way around, serving the tight-knit little group. Angelina’s sparkling eyes followed her mom through the room, as she reveled in her mother’s quiet beauty. She’d worked so hard in that kitchen, and around the house to make everything look just right, and taste so heavenly.
Father opened the old family bible to that well known story in Luke, which had been read every Christmas. Again, the true meaning of the Season outshone the hype of magical flying reindeer and Santa Claus. Angels announced the real miracle: The virgin birth of our Christ child. Shepherds and sheep, the magi and evil king Herod. God become one of us, to live with us, and eventually die for us.
Angelina dropped her head for a moment as if in prayer. When again her chin came up, tears of Joy were spilling down her cheeks. Mother noticed right away and scooted to her side. She whispered in her daughter’s ear.
“Honey, are you upset because you found out that Santa is only make-believe?” Angelina’s bright smile became really big. And her words sputtered with deep feeling.
“No Mama, I’m crying because I’m so happy! No fairy tale could ever compare with the awesome truth of what Christmas is really all about. I have such a wonderful family. God has been good to us. And I love you all so much… I can’t help but cry.”
After a few moments of silence, Angelina spoke again. “If only…”
Father dropped his feet from their perch, leaned forward and asked, “If only what Ange?”
“If only we never heard of Santa Claus, all those Christmases before could have been just like this one!”
(Everyone falls short of Jesus’ glorious and unconditional love. However, the closer we walk with Him, the more God’s perfect love will change our hearts. I cannot describe how wonderful Jesus’ love is. You must experience that for yourself. But until you open your heart to Him, you’ll never know.)
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