Merry Christmas everyone!
Santa left me a very special present this year. It was an ornament of Santa kneeling before the Christ Child. And when I received it, a lot of emotions ran through me. You see, every Christmas season my Aunt Marie would put out her statue of this image – a larger version of Santa kneeling before Christ. And every year this would be a reminder to my younger self that Christmas was first and foremost about Jesus Christ coming into the world.
And yet, I love Santa. I have been an “Official Agent of Santa” for nearly 30 years. I’ve put on the iconic red costume and entertained both children and adults as the “right jolly old elf.” It is amazing how seeing Santa can bring people in all situations to a place of happiness.
For many years my wife and I have gone to nursing homes to visit hospice patients. I, donning the suit, my wife as Mrs. Clause and any assorted elves who accompanied us would sing carols and spend time with those who were about to leave this side of eternity. And Santa would always bring a smile.
For me, portraying Santa is a way to proclaim the good news. While everyone sees Santa, they are brought the Christmas message through the carols we would sing. While they enjoyed seeing Kris Kringle, they were assured of seeing Jesus.
In our celebration of Christmas, there is room for Santa, elves, reindeer and talking snowmen along side the truth of the Nativity with the shepherds and the Epiphany with the Wise men. Each brings something to the table. One, a fun secular holiday filled with Christmas magic, and the other a reminder that God loves so much that He sent His son to us.
Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians (2:9-19); Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. And that includes Santa.
As we continue to celebrate this wonderful time of year, let us always keep in mind that we truly celebrate the birth of Jesus – God Incarnate.
May your Christmastide be wonderful and may God bless you abundantly in the New Year,