It’s almost December but the lights and decorations are going up and the advertisements for that perfect gift have begun. A great number of people are really bothered by this happening so soon, and can only think in terms of commercialization and all the money they have to spend again this year.
I am a Christian and my thoughts of Christmas are of course the night a child named Jesus was born into this world. The three Wise Men did bring gifts to that child of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In remembrance for centuries we have therefore included that tradition into our Christmas celebrations….giving gifts to our family members, friends, acquaintances and hopefully to some that will not receive a gift because of financial difficulties within their family.
Exactly when Santa Clause became part of our tradition I don’t really know. I’m sure that I could ‘google’ and find out but that’s beside the point. As far back as I can recall as a child I was so excited that Santa was coming and went to sleep just as fast as I could on Christmas Eve. My mother was raising several of us by herself and I knew that she could not afford to buy much, but I looked forward with anticipation to see if Santa would bring me a doll again this year. That’s all I asked for when I was little, and each year he knew and brought me my special gift. Of course he left a stocking full of nuts, candies and usually an orange and most probably a brand new pair of socks as well.
My belief that Santa can be a part of our Christmas tradition, and does not have to be ruled as ‘unchristian’, is because childhood is a very special time and the innocence and excitement of a child cannot blemish the season. Of course there is always the problem that if a child does not receive anything from Santa because of family issues, and wonders why.. breaks my heart. If their religion just does not celebrate that way or for some other reason, then the child will not expect anything. But I’m thinking of the child who just thinks he doesn’t deserve a gift from Santa for whatever reason.
We and thousands of others who are able, always incorporate the buying of a gift or gifts for those who need the help. There is always the hope that no child will go without, and there is really no need to if the parent lets someone know. But recently I heard of a foster child who is 12 years old and went to a Christmas party this year and experienced a gift from Santa for the first time. Because he wanted to be ‘cool’ and not appear too excited, he really tried not to. However, he held the gift in his hand with awe and wondered what it could be. His foster-mother wanted him to save it for Christmas, but for the remainder of the party he kept feeling it and looking at. He had never been given a gift from ‘Santa’ at any time in his young life. When hearing of this I was so saddened and wondered how many other children there were like this young lad.
So I will pray for him and for the others like him this Christmas.