Tuesday, December 13, 2005

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 colour 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 Saviour 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
Saviour. 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 His Son... 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 Saviour's birth.The
angels sang 'Glory to God in the highest on earth peace and good will toward

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, Jesus Christ our Lord, our God."

(author unknown)

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