Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas Spirit Lives

Little girl: “Mommy, is Santa going to give us presents this year?”

Mommy: “Oh, Baby, Santa is just a nice man in a nice story.”

Little girl: “You mean he’s not real?”

The mother thought for a moment, trying to find the most delicate way to respond to her little girl.

Mommy: “He’s real in the hearts of those who keep the true Christmas Spirit alive, honey.”

Santa Claus. Chris Cringle. Father Christmas. Saint Nikolaus. Papa Noel. El Nino Jesus. This man has many names. All around the world parents tell their children the story of a man who spends all year making toys, then spends one night a year traveling throughout the entire world to deliver them to all the good boys and girls. It’s a magical story. It’s a comforting story, because who doesn’t want to believe in someone so giving and kind hearted?  But when we get old enough to understand that it IS just a story, I think maybe we all feel like fools and maybe a little deceived from having everyone around us lie to us for so long.

But it truly is a magical story. Many probably don’t realize that they have the power to keep the true Christmas Spirit alive. Santa Claus can be real. He can be in a number of people who decide to give without seeking reward.

I’ve met many people who give without taking, people who go out of their way to help complete strangers. People who always think of themselves last, and everyone around them first. That is Santa Claus.

A red fluffy costume and a pointy hat are not required to fit the profile. A kind heart and the ability to think of others is all it takes.

Every year the boy scouts come by our house around Thanksgiving time asking for donations of non-perishable items to give to the needy. They go door to door, neighborhood to neighborhood, not asking for any compensation for themselves.

It’s the sister who will drive out of state to make sure you’re safe. It’s the father who will miss work and hop on a plane to join you in the hospital just to see for himself how you’re doing. It’s the man who will drive 3000 miles just to love you. It’s the friend who goes out of her way to make sure you know you’re loved. People all over the world experience times like these and more because people all over the world know what it is to be Santa.

It’s not about presents and how much you can spend. It’s about love.

Is there a little Santa in you?

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