By Christina Evans

I love decorating for Christmas. From the beautiful tree with our ornaments from everywhere we’ve traveled, to the stockings hung on the mantle, as well as my dining room table with my snowman dishes. However, my favorite decorations of all are all my nativities! I have been collecting them for several years now, starting with my Willow Tree nativity that I leave up all year round, to a hand carved nativity brought back from Madagascar by my sister-in-law who lives there. What a beautiful symbol of the true meaning of Christmas. A King born in the most humble way to a virgin mother and loving earthly father while his birth was proclaimed to the most humble of people, the shepherds.

But, even though I love my nativities and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, I also love the story of Santa! As a young girl, I was a true believer in the magic of Christmas and Santa and I’m passing along the traditions to my daughter. I’m excited to take her again this year for her visit with the jolly old elf!

How can I know the true meaning of Christmas and yet still participate in the magic of Santa? Because I believe Santa knows and understands the true meaning of Christmas better than we do! I have two Santa pictures in my home and in both he is adoring the nativity and giving reverence to the baby Jesus.

Yes, Santa is fun and brings gifts, but he knows WHY he brings happiness. He understands his mission to bring kindness and joy to others because he recognizes the reason for that joy. I believe we are all Santa. When we see a person in need and stop to help them, we are showing what Santa represents. But more than that, we are showing the love of Christ.

A few years ago we did a church Christmas play where my dad played Santa. He was so eager until dress rehearsal and his nerves kicked in! But, on the day of the play, I truly believed Santa was on that stage telling his elves that he is not the real meaning of Christmas, as he began to read the Christmas story to them. You see, he had received a letter from a young girl wanting help with her family who was having problems. But, Santa knew he couldn’t give that gift at Christmas. However, he knew who could make a difference in that little girl’s life and began to pray for her and left her a Bible under her tree.

Take time this holiday season to be the Santa in someone’s life. Is there someone who needs a little joy? Is someone needing a little extra kindness shown to them?

“Truly I tell you, what you did for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

How do you celebrate Christmas? Do you tell your children about Santa? Why or why not? Leave your comments below and share this story with your friends.

 

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