When our son Daniel was about three years old, we began our annual tradition of taking him to downtown Lazarus in Columbus to see Santa. They had the best Santa Claus, in my humble opinion and their Santaland was absolutely a wonderland! This first year, as Daniel crawled up onto Santa's lap, my heart was so moved by the gentleness and kindness of this elderly man. He wasn't loud or boisterous but rather quiet and pleasant. I kept wiping away the tears and just didn't understand what was wrong with me. Ed was visibly moved, too. What was going on? I mean, he was just a department store Santa, after all. As Daniel climbed down off of Santa's lap, Santa smiled kindly at me and waved and again, a big lump formed in my throat. All that Daniel wanted that year was a sno-cone machine (thank you, Aunt Debbie! *smile*) and that is what he told Santa when asked what he wanted. Santa just couldn't believe that Daniel didn't want anything else, but that is how Daniel has always been. He gets his heart set on ONE thing that he wants and though he might receive other gifts, the ONE is enough. I'm thankful for the heart that the Lord has given him. I've never forgotten that particular trip to see Santa. I believe it was the kindness and gentleness that emanated from this man's heart that so moved me.
The other evening, I went to a Christmas party with my sister Debbie. As we were finishing eating, Santa arrived to wish us a Merry Christmas. Again, he was such a kind and gentle Santa, spreading goodwill to all. As he made his way about the tables, there was that lump forming in my throat once again and the tears smarting at the corners of my eyes. When he reached our table, he extended a gloved hand to shake and wished me a Merry Christmas and I realized that I "knew" this Santa. *smile* And I knew that he REALLY WAS a kind man.
I have said all of that to say that it is the spirit of Santa that really makes the difference and matters. It isn't whether he is pagan or "real" or whatever. So may the kind, gentle and good spirit of Santa envelop you this Christmas and Holiday Season. God Bless You One and All!!
(oh, and just between you and me......the Santa at my sister's Christmas party??? I used to date him! *smile* I told the girls at our table and we had a great laugh over it!!)