It's that time of year when kids of all ages start making their lists and checking it twice. And, while I know that I am not supposed to be a fan of the commercialism of Christmas, I am a huge fan of the beauty and excitement and childlike faith that this season can bring.
I grew up believing in Santa Claus but not knowing a whole lot about God. It wasn't until jr. high/high school that I began attending youth group with friends and began my relationship with Him. And you know what, I have never confused the two.
One of my most vivid childhood memories is from a Christmas Eve night many years ago. The house was dark and everyone was asleep when I was awakened by the sound of something in the house. When I peeked around the corner into our living room, there was a fire in the fireplace and Santa was putting a present behind our lighted tree. I didn't want to get caught, so I scurried back to bed and pretended to be asleep. I even heard the bells on Santa's sleigh as he departed for the next house on his list.
There are few things you should know about this story. First of all, my mother would never have left the Christmas tree lights on overnight. I am not even sure the fireplace in our house was functional because I don't remember there ever being a fire in there with the exception of that night, and there was no dad, relative or family friend who would have dressed up to be Santa at our house in the middle of the night. You should also know that the doll that I had asked Santa for was in that exact spot when presents were opened that Christmas morning.
The faith of a child.
I am not a child anymore and there has been more than enough reality in my life to crush the spirit of the little girl who continues to believe that she saw Santa in her living room. My faith is now in a Savior who gave me the greatest gift ever - not a doll that I no longer possess - but His life for mine. A belief that there is more to life than any toy or gift that can be brought in a sleigh, and a promise that one day, instead of hiding from my benefactor, I will run into His open arms.
Jesus really is the reason for the season, but I never want to lose the childlike wonder I had for Christmas when I was a little girl peeking around the corner at the picture perfect Christmas scene unfolding in my living room. And who knows, I might even write a letter to Santa this year. Why? Because it is fun to believe. :)