Teach the Children!

Oh! What a week I have had.  I apologize for not writing much this week. College, finals, it has all been a bit of a blur. However, I think God has really pushed me to see past it all. There are just too many wonderful things about Christmas that I haven’t lost the light. 

 Christmas is such a time of giving. God started such a domino effect. Long a go, in a small town named Bethlehem the best gift was given. From there another gift was given.Gold frankincense and myrrh. The gifts the Wise Men gave to Mary, Joseph and Jesus.  One of my favorite Christmas songs is, The Little Drummer Boy. The love the melody of the song, and it was this year that I realized the true importance of the song. Giving. Every Christmas Eve, I can remember getting all dressed up for church, going to church, coming back eating and then opening presents. Presents are given and received. People all over the world do this. Christmas is truly a time of giving. I think God had plans that Christmas would really be about this. True most people might think of Santa Claus or Chris Kringle. Yet, the idea of giving gifts still remains. 

I don’t think there is anything wrong with Santa. As long as remember why Christmas started, and what it is about, it is okay to want to give and receive presents. As long as we remember the best gift ever given and who gave it to us. When my cousins, siblings and I were younger my grandpa would read this story about Santa. Every Christmas day he would read it and it is that story I want to share below.  It is a little lengthy, however, I really love the story. It is something I always remember. My grandpa, in his deep clear voice saying, “Santa says, Teach the Children……”

“Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened…I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind the Christmas tree.

He placed his finger over his mouth so I would not cry out. “What are you doing?” I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat, and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone.

Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement. “TEACH THE CHILDREN!” I was puzzled; what did he mean?

He anticipated my question, and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said, “Teach the children! Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten.”

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle. “Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man’s thoughts turning toward heaven.”

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. “Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise.”

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. “Teach the children that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.”

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. “Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.”

He then pulled from his bag and ornament of HIMSELF. “Teach the children that I, Santa Claus symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. “Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior. The red holly represents the blood shed by Him.”

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, “Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave…” “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift. Teach the children that the wise men bowed before the holy babe and presented him with gold, frankincense and myrrh. We should always give gifts in the same spirit of the wise men.”

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. “Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds’ crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.”

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. “Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior’s birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.”

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. “Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.”

Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, “Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the center, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship Him, our Lord, our God.”

 

Merry Christmas, for HE is born.

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