December 22, 2013

In the Spirit of Christmas

Many years ago, at the annual Children’s Party at church, the children had just finished reciting their poems when Santa made an appearance dressed in a beautiful red and white suit, Ho Ho-ing loudly as he walked to the front of the sanctuary 

After greeting everyone and leading the children in a rousing chorus of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” Santa sat down and pulled from his bag the first of the gifts for the children. Santa kept quite a good list that year for as he spoke to each child, he had something personal to say about each one.

When all the gifts had been distributed, Santa was just about ready to lead everyone in a chorus of “Silent Night” when someone pointed out one little girl had not received a gift.

Santa’s face went from red to deep scarlet as he turned his bag inside out in a failed attempt to find one more gift.

Then a voice broke the awkward silence when little Emily Burdick, who had already received a gift from Santa, said, “She can have my present.”

Santa was suddenly speechless. When he recovered, he choked a bit with emotion, then suggested that everyone there had just witnessed an act of love that represented the very spirit of Christmas _ a gift given without hesitation or reservation to someone in need.

I vividly remember the incident that Christmas, because I was Santa Claus that memorable night.