Sunday, December 19, 2010

In Defense of Santa


The days are slipping by so quickly, and I long to slow them down - to savor this time. I love soaking in all the beautifully written things about the true meaning of Christmas, listening to the familiar carols and looking with wonder at the miracle of the Gift.

I have a little confession to make, however, that involves my childhood, Santa, visions of sugar plums, stockings hung by the chimney with care and leaving milk and cookies by the easy chair. I wonder if it would be all right to take a lighthearted look at Christmas...just for a little bit; because intermingled with all of the spiritual, I have images of make believe that always surface during this season. There is one in particular that is as vivid today as it was nearly fifty-five years ago.

I was old enough, that year, to have come to the bitter-sweet conclusion that Santa Claus wasn't real. However my little sister , four years younger than I, was still a firm believer. My Dad, Mom and I became co-conspirators in keeping the dream alive for just a little while longer. We never lost the baby Jesus in all of this, we just allowed Santa to have a part too.

It began snowing earlier in the day that Christmas Eve and was accumulating quickly. The snow plows had cleared the streets of our little sub-division, but by the time darkness fell we were snowed in. The little houses and yards were nestled under a soft white blanket, and the world was hushed.

Little sister was already tucked into bed, having set out the plate of Christmas cookies and glass of milk for Santa, when the silence was broken by a knock on the front door. We couldn't imagine who would be out on such a night. We looked questions at one another as Dad went to open the door. There on the front stoop stood a rotund figure clad in red and dusted with snow. He stepped into the living room, and we were transfixed.

Dad went to get the little sleepy head and carried her, tousle-haired and sleepy-eyed, to see our night-time visitor. I will never forget the look of wonder in her eyes. It was a magical moment.

I don't remember what was said. I just remember the sweetness of the moment. Santa didn't stay long. He had a long night ahead of him. When he stepped out into the night, we gathered at the door to watch.

He walked down the center of the snow-filled street. The soft light from the street lamps illuminated the swirling flakes and shone down on Santa as he disappeared into the night. That picture, like the most beautiful of Christmas cards, is imprinted on my heart. I take it out every Christmas and marvel.

I see the picture of one who came with no other motive than love. One who gives lavishly with no thought of receiving anything in return. One who is no respecter of persons - visiting both the lowly and the mighty - knowing each by name. One who takes the time to make dreams come true even for little girls.

Perhaps, forgive me if I over-step, just perhaps Santa might be a tiny picture of The One who came with no other motive than love to bring the greatest gift of all.

Christmas Blessings,
Linda

18 comments:

S. Etole said...

I believe love was at the heart of the true St. Nicholas who gave much ...

Thank you for this precious memory. {I had a mug just like that as a child and the pitcher that goes with it is on my mantel right now ... and it doesn't detract from my Savior at all}

Sandy said...

I agree, Linda. This is a sweet and
familiar memory for many. And as your
previous commenter said, St. Nicholas
had love in his heart and gave much.
My mother had a set of six of these
little Santa mugs and I loved drinking
from them as a child.
Christmas blessings to you, too!
Sandy

Kathie said...

I think that's such a sweet memory!

Anonymous said...

you make a good case.

Abba's Girl said...

Thank you for sharing this precious memory. I still have a Santa mug like yours. I think I received it in 1965.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Neva Flores said...

What a magical write!

Heather said...

I just love your heart, Linda!! I've missed you over this past week-- we were out of town for a few days and then our internet connection wasn't connecting :) Thankfully, I'm back up and running now and so very glad to back visiting in your neck of the woods! Hope you had a delightful weekend (can you believe we have less than a week until Christmas??!)~

Giant hugs from the east coast filled with oodles of well-wishes for a wonderful week ahead!

Maria said...

You tell such sweet stories, Linda!
How precious and dear this memory is ~

I also just love your quilting. The angel quilt {previous post} is also very precious!

A merry Christmas week to you dear Linda ~
Love,
Maria

Jingle Poetry said...

a smart move,
well done.

Jingle Poetry said...

Here is the end of the year awards 4 you, enjoy!

End of The Year Awards 4 Friends of Jingle or Jingle Poetry Community

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Your support has been a delight to us, at this time of the year, We wish you all the best !

Link up a poem to our potluck today, We send blessings all the way to brighten your day!

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Linda,

This is a touching reflection, a tender moment. Thank you for sharing. I love the effort made here to keep the dream alive a while longer for your little sister.

lil red hen said...

With no little ones around anymore, it's easy to get lost in the Christmas "blues". Thank you for jogging my memories back to the good ol days.

grammy said...

what a great memory that is.
I can almost see it (o:
I think a little Santa can be a good thing...but hey, it is the parents of my Grandkids that decides that stuff now (o:

Ann Kroeker said...

What a sweet, sweet story. And what a brave Santa to head out in that heavy snow!

Here's the other end of the spectrum...

I heard the story today of a family that was set against Santa and did everything they could to dispel the "myth" and discourage their children from any belief in him at all.

They went to the home of another family on Christmas Eve, and their two-year-old walked up to the host family's dog and exclaimed, "Oh, Santa! I knew you'd be here!" Then she hugged the dog and continued to interact with it as if it were Santa himself!

Some kids crave the fun and joy of make-believe so much that nothing can stop them from imagining.

Deidra said...

This is such a sweet story. I'm sure you're not the only one who remembers that night each year at Christmastime.

Sarah said...

Simply beautiful friend.

Have a joy filled, love overflow Christmas and sing with me Happy Birthday Jesus!

Sarah

deb said...

Isn't this just the magical part?

I do believe so many people are wandering the mall seeking just that, with good in their hearts, seeking because they believe.

Kerri said...

Thanks for sharing this sweet and beautiful story, Linda. What a wonderful memory to have tucked away. That mysterious Santa must've had a very big heart :)