For this year’s 1st Santa, I imagined a family gathering on Christmas Eve for dinner, and to exchange their “Before Santa” gifts.
The children are almost too excited to eat their meal. Some asking what time we will open presents, some helping to set the table, others busily arranging the gifts under the tree in an attempt to sort them into piles by person.
When the meal is complete, the table cleared, and the dishes put away, and before any presents are exchanged, Grandpa sits in his favorite chair, his extended family gathered around him, as he reads aloud the Christmas story from his worn and wrinkled bible (in our home Luke 2 – 2.20).
Later, gifts opened and paper and bows covering the floor, the children select the best cookies to leave for Santa on the fireplace mantle. Eventually everyone either returns to their own homes, cries of “Merry Christmas” as they head out the door, or they slowly settle down for the night.
But this Christmas Eve, when Santa comes magically into the home to place his gifts under the tree or into the stockings waiting silently for him, he is gifted with a sight that overshadows any material present.
On the mantle, placed next to his cookie tray, is a present he immediately knows was wrapped by a child. Covered in birthday vs. holiday paper, tape having come loose in places with what he senses is a child’s favored teddy bear’s face peeking out at him, and all covered in pretty Christmas bows the child knew would make the gift even more special!
And in a child’s writing, a note is attached. “Happy Birthday Baby Jesus, I Love You.”
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Happy Birthday Jesus, and a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!