Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back,
tired, but content, into my easy chair.
The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped,
the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace
for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree
with its decorations, I couldn’t help feeling
that something important was missing.
It wasn’t long before the tiny twinkling
tree lights lulled me to sleep. I don’t know
how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew
that I wasn’t alone. I opened my eyes, and you
can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus,
himself, standing next to my Christmas tree.
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his
foot just as the poem described him, but he was
not the “jolly old elf” of Christmas legend.
The man who stood before me looked sad and
disappointed. And there were tears in his eyes.
“Santa, what’s wrong?” I asked,
“Why are you crying?”
“It’s the children,” Santa replied sadly.
“But Santa, the children love you,” I said.
“Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts
I bring them,” Santa said, “but the children of
today seem to have somehow missed out on the
true spirit of Christmas.
It’s not their fault. It’s just that the adults,
many of them not having been taught themselves,
have forgotten to teach the children.”
“Teach them what?” I asked. Santa’s kind old face
became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine
with something more than tears. He spoke softly.
“Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas.
Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see,
hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye.
Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and
traditions of Christmas which we now observe.
Teach them what it is they truly represent.”
Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a
tiny Christmas tree and set it on my mantle.
“Teach them about the Christmas tree.
Green is the second color of Christmas.
The stately evergreen, with its unchanging color,
represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus.
Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that
mankind’s thoughts should turn heavenward as well.”
Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a
shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree.
“The star was the heavenly sign of promise.
God promised a Savior for the world and the star
was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise
on the night that Jesus Christ was born.
Teach the children that God always fulfills
His promises, and that wise men still seek Him.”
“Red,” said Santa, “is the first color of Christmas.”
“He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree.
Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the
life-giving blood that flows through our veins.
It is the symbol of God’s greatest gift.
Teach the children that Christ gave his life
and shed his blood for them that they might have
eternal life. When they see the color red, it
should remind them of that most wonderful gift.”
Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed
it on the tree. “Just as lost sheep are guided
to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues
to ring today for all to be guided to the fold.
Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd,
who gave His life for the sheep.”
Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it.
The soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened
the room. “The glow of the candle represents how
people can show their thanks for the gift of God’s
son that Christmas Eve long ago.
Teach the children to follow in Christ’s footsteps…
to go about doing good.
Teach them to let their light shine before people
that all may see it and glorify God.
This is what’s symbolized when the twinkle lights
shine on the tree like hundreds of bright shining
lights, each of them representing one of God’s
precious children’s light shining for all to see.”
Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he
brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane.
As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly.
“The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy.
White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless
nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the
Solid Rock, the foundation of the church,
and the firmness of God’s promises.
The candy cane form’s a “J” to represent the
precious name of Jesus, who came to earth.
It also represents the Good Shepherd’s crook,
which He uses to reach down into all ditches of
the world to lift out the fallen lambs who,
like all sheep, have gone astray.
The original candy cane had three small red
stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging
Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large
red stripe that represents the shed blood of Jesus,
so that we can have the promise of eternal life.
Teach these things to the children.”
Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of
fresh, fragrant greenery tied with a bright
red bow. “The bow reminds us of the bond of
perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies
all the good things about Christmas for those
with eyes to see and hearts to understand.
It contains the colors of red and green and
the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen.
The bow tells the story of good will towards all
and its color reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice.
Even its very shape is symbolic, representing
eternity and the eternal nature of Christ’s love.
It is a circle, without beginning and without end.
These are the things you must teach the children.”
I asked, “But where does that leave you Santa?”
The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke
over Santa’s face. “Why bless you, my dear,”
he laughed, “I’m only a symbol myself.
I represent the spirit of family fun and
the joy of giving and receiving. If the
children are taught these other things, there
is no danger that I’ll ever be forgotten.”
“I think I’m beginning to understand.”
“That’s why I came,” said Santa. “You’re an adult.
If you don’t teach the children these things,
then who will?”
~ Author Unknown ~