Every Christmas, my dad writes letters from “Santa” to all his grandchildren. This is one of my favorite traditions, and I know the kids will love reading these sweet words some day. Here are this year’s three letters:
It is my great privilege to again be with you this Christmas Eve. Being Santa is the greatest job in the world, but one of the compromises is that I can only be with my special friends while they sleep. If we were to start talking and playing and carrying on I would never get to everybody. So I am jotting down some thoughts on your parents’ laptop that I hope will stay with you until I come again next Christmas.
And I will come again, because Christmas is a promise. God promised us that we would never be without Him, and he came personally to prove it. Christmas comes in good times and bad, whether we are happy or sad or naughty or nice. It causes me to ho ho ho when I hear people say that Christmas sneaks up on them, before they are ready. None of us are ever ready, which is why the gift we are given is called Emmanuel – God wit love, and you show us that with your patience, sweet spirit, and especially by never being afraid. Your journey has taken you through valleys too numerous to count, but you show us that every valley, every valley, shall be exalted!
Merry Christmas Grayson. See you next year.
I thought of you over Germany when Dancing Queen came through my Beats by Dre wireless headphones. Orderliness may not be your thing, but joyful celebration surely is – joyful celebration and verbalizing the obvious. Some people have the job of tending flocks by night. Others get to shake them up by proclaiming “Glory to God in the Highest”. There is no doubt as to your calling, Charlotte.
Make no mistake, Christmas Eve is all about disruption and stating the obvious. Yes, the night we remember did start out silent, but only because there was nothing to say. Everybody walked in darkness because their sin left them no choice.
Then, suddenly, there was a little child who would have a lot to say. Some were not happy about His coming, but choirs of angels were, not to mention camels, sheep, wise men and even the stars in the sky. The obvious had arrived. The Word had become flesh.
I know that you are just beginning to understand all that – but what you were created for is fully formed. You were made to bring energy and truth to the world. You were made to discover and to proclaim. I know. I am Santa. I check everything twice.
So enjoy what I brought you and tell everybody about it in a thousand words or more. Create a mess and rejoice in it. Above all, state the obvious. Joy to the World!
Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas Charlotte!
Welcome first timer! It would seem that you should be welcoming me, as I am standing in your house, for goodness sake. But that’s not how it works on this particular evening. You are about to experience the greatest tradition of our world, celebrating the now eternal covenant between God and Man.
First, some basics. I am Santa Clause, the gift guy. I bring gifts to children all over the world as a symbol of the God’s gift of salvation, about which you will keep learning as long as you live. I spend most of the year at the North Pole making gifts with a staff of elves, which I deliver every year on this evening via sleigh, even though most of the world’s children live in warm climates without snow. Every year I come to South Texas to replicate how Northern Germans celebrate an event that occurred in the Middle East. Go figure.
Regarding Christmas tradition and celebration, here are some other things you should know.
· The official dates are December 24 (Christmas Eve) and December 25 (Christmas Day)
· Everybody pauses from their work and school activities
· Lots of decorations are put up. You have probably noticed the lights
· You have probably also heard the seasonal music. Get used to it. The Christmas music canon was permanently closed when Julie Andrews stopped singing with the London Philharmonic
· Families gather
· Lots of food is served
· Everyone says Merry Christmas before the day and Happy New Year after
As to why we do all this stuff, it’s all summed up in a single phrase in a book by which your parents are raising you.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
That Savior’s name is Jesus, Nolan. He is the Lord of the Universe. The fact that He came to us that evening is why I am able to watch you sleep on this evening. You need never be afraid.
So, I hope you enjoy what I have brought you. Playing with the wrapping paper should be fun as well. I will be back next year, and every year thereafter with more to this story. Merry Christmas, Nolan!