Today, I would like to share a Christmas story with you. It's a beautiful reminder of what Christmas is all about.
I had just closed my eyes and began to feel the calm feeling of sleep when I heard a sound that shouldn’t be heard when one is sitting alone in a room of quiet repose. I quickly opened my eyes and, to my surprise, Santa Clause stepped out from behind the Christmas tree, a bag of what I thought to be toys, at his side.
“What are you . . .? I started to ask. But I said no more for I saw the tears that filled his eyes. He answered the question I had begun to ask with a simple statement. “Teach the Children.”
I was puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas . . . the meaning that Christmas today has forgotten.”
I watched as he reached into the toy bag and removed a brilliant, shiny star.
“Teach the children that long ages ago God promised a Savior for the world and the star was a sign of the fulfillment of that promise. The countless shining stars at night now show the burning hope to all mankind.”
Santa gently laid the star upon the fireplace mantle and, again reached into his bag. When his hand reappeared, it held a glittering red Christmas tree ornament. “Teach the children," he continued, "that red was the first color of Christmas. In the beginning it was a reminder, to the faithful, of the blood that was shed by the Savior, for all mankind. Christ gave His life and shed His blood that every man might have God’s gift of Eternal Life. Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the greatest color of all. It is a symbol of a gift from God.” He placed the ball on the tree.
“The pure green color of the stately fir tree remains green all year round,” he said, a gentle smile forming on his face, as he turned back to me. “It depicts the everlasting hope of mankind. Green is the youthful, hopeful, abundant color of nature. All the needles point heavenward . . . symbols of Man’s returning thoughts toward heaven."
Again he reached into his bag, removing a silver bell. Its tinkling sounded through the quiet of the room as he placed it on the tree. “Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it also rings for man to return to the fold. It means guidance and return. It further signifies that all are precious in the eyes of the Lord.”
Next, he removed a candle from his bag and placed it on the mantle. Its tiny flame cast a gentle glow about the room. “Teach the children that the candle shows man’s thanks for the star of long ago. Its small light is the mirror of starlight."
Then Santa reached down under the tree and took a gift from beneath it, touching the bow. “A bow is placed on a present to remind us of the spirit of the brotherhood of man. The bow is tied as men should be tied with the bonds of good will toward each other. Good will forever is the message of the bow.”
Santa slung his bag over his shoulder and reached for the candy cane placed high on the tree. “Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps bring the sheep, who have strayed, back to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother’s keeper.”
I watched as he removed one more item from his bag - a large holly wreath - and placed it on my door. “Please teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the eternal nature of love. It never ceases, stops, or ends. It is one continuous round of affection. It is also a reminder of the crown of thorns, at the time of Christ's sacrifice."
As I looked into Santa's eyes, I could see the love he had for the Savior. He loved him with a greater understanding than any other man I knew, and the tears that once clouded his eyes now clouded my own.
I closed my eyes and wiped the tears away away. But when I opened my eyes again, he was gone and I couldn't help but wonder if he really had been been there at all . . . or had I just been dreaming. If it was a dream, it now became my reality, and I will always remember that day and how I learned the true meaning of Christmas and the symbols that made it so meaningful.
Isn't that a enlightening story. I know we all understand the meaning of the star, but did we know what the ornament, the fur tree, the bell, the candle, the holly wreath, and the candy cane represented?
My Christmas wish is that we will always remember the true meaning of Christmas and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year.
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