Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and, to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree. He placed a finger over his mouth so I would not cry out "What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat, as I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manor was gone. Gone was the eager boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me
with a simple statement, "TEACH THE CHILDREN." I was puzzled; what did he mean? He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood there bewildered, Santa said, "Teach the children! Teach them the meaning of hristmas. The meaning that children now-a-day's have forgotten!"
Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle. "Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year around, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind. All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts toward heaven."
He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a savior for the world, and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise."
He then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaced the darkness." Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."
He then pulled out from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF. "Teach the children that I, Santa Clause symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."
He reached in again and pulled out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the Crown of Thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him." Next he pulled out a GIFT from the bag and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son..." "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Teach the children that the Wise Men bowed before the Holy Babe and presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. "We should always give gifts in the same spirit as the Wise Men."
Santa reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds crook. The crook on the shepherds' staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brothers keeper."
He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the Angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace, and good will toward men."
Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, from his bag he pulled out a BELL. Teach the children that the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should bring man to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return."
Santa looked back at the tree and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas, and to not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One That Is, and I bow down and worship Him, our Lord, our God."
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