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The Empty Spot Under My Christmas Tree
by James Snyder
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It is the day after Christmas and I sit in my recliner just a little bit disappointed. I have had a wonderful Christmas with my family and friends and we enjoyed the feasting once again this year.

However, there is still a shadow of discontent this holiday season. It has been at least 50 years and still there is an empty spot under my Christmas tree.

I am certainly happy with all the Christmas presents I received this year. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and my family seem to know exactly what I need. I often wonder how they know I’m running low on socks. But they do, and they always come through with several pairs of nice new socks.

I have a certain family member, who at this point shall go unnamed, who thinks I’m on the rather slim side of the bathroom scales. Without fail, she always surprises me with a decorative box of homemade cookies. I like homemade cookies. However, whenever I unwrap this marvelous Christmas present, there is someone related to me by marriage (I’ll divulge no names at this point), who always says, “You don’t need those cookies.”

I always explain it has nothing at all to do with “need.” It has everything to do with taste. Being a man of good taste, I enjoy the taste of homemade cookies. Christmas is the one time of the year I can get away with this kind of delectable indulgence.

I had an aunt once who always sent me a fruitcake. Are you supposed to eat fruitcakes? Not knowing the right protocol for a fruitcake, I always donated it to the Salvation Army. If they run out of ammunition, they can always use my fruitcake.

That brings me back to that “empty spot” under my tree.

I am beginning to have serious doubts about the validity of Santa Claus’s claims. In fact, I think I might have a good case of fraud against that jolly old shyster. He makes promises he does not intend to deliver on.

I have a good mind (okay, maybe it’s not that good) to give up on the whole business of Santa Claus. However, I’m always willing to give everybody a “second chance.” After all, I don’t want the Donald to have one up on yours truly.

For the past 50 years, topping off my Christmas wish list is one thing … a pony. Yes, it is the one thing I have wished for all these years. And, it is the one thing I have never yet received.

You would think after all these years good old Saint Nick could find a scrawny old pony somewhere in his bag of goodies. My concern is, by the time the old boy gets around to giving me my Christmas pony, I will be too old to ride it. Now, I ask you, what fun is that?

Every year, regular as clockwork, I take time out of my busy schedule to hunt up Santa Claus, sit on his lap and tell him that all I want for Christmas this year is a pony. And, every year Santa always tells me, “Sonny, I’ll see what I can do for you. Here’s your lollipop, now get off my lap, my legs are going numb.”

Believe me, if I thought this was just a hoax I never would waste my time with all this Christmas balderdash. I have better things I could be doing with my time.

After pondering my predicament, I’ve come up with several observations.

It could not be that my name appears on good old Santa’s “naughty list.” My good wife makes sure of that. All year long, she keeps me so busy with chores around the house that I have absolutely no time to engage in naughtiness. It is not as if I would not like to. After all, what is life without a certain dash of naughtiness in it?

Therefore, I do not think I am on the naughty list, and I am not going to kid myself into thinking I am very high on Santa’s “nice list.” But, thanks to my wife I am sure I am somewhere on that auspicious list.

Even if I’m pretty far down the list you would think after 50 years, my number would come up. I am beginning to think there is a conspiracy of expectation propagated by this chubby elf from the North Pole. If he does not intend to give me what I ask for why does he solicit my wish list? Why does he, every year, entice me to wish for something he knows I will never get?

Perhaps, and I’m speculating here, that is why he chuckles so much.

All this brings up the great difference between Santa Claus and Christ. Jesus Christ always delivers on what He promises. He never makes an empty promise, nor does He excite my expectation only to disappoint me in the end.

A personal relationship with Jesus Christ solves many problems and ushers into the heart a sense of peace and contentment. One of my favorite Bible verses is, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5 KJV.)

Disappointments are created when expectations are built upon selfish consumption. When we are content with what we have we will discover a joy in who Jesus Christ is.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jamie glaser 31 Dec 2006
this was great, it was really cute and had a good lesson. Jesus hasn't given me a pony yet either and neither has Santa Claus, lol. But Jesus timing is always perfect! God bless
Don Beers 29 Dec 2006
I really like this article; emotions were shared so well that I felt them. Your explanation of Santa's diabolical conspiracy of disappointment has me plotting a serious sleigh accident about this same time next year. I'm mad at him too, your writing did that. (If arrested, I'll name you as co-conspirator). Your use of several different names and phrases to describe him were grand. I was more than impressed by the transition from Grinch in a red suit to Grace personified. What made this article/story so deep is its simplicity: excellent, in my opinion. I'll be looking forward to more of your writing. That is, unless you are too busy e-mailing virus programs to the North Pole to make it back to Faith Writers.


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