A few weeks before Christmas, a visitor arrived at my door.
This is what happened to teach me the True Meaning of Christmas.
I was getting ready to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the living room and much to my surprise Santa Claus was standing next to the fireplace.
"What are you doing here now?" I wanted to ask. But the words stuck up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the happy, energetic soul I knew from my youth. He simply said to me,
"TEACH THE CHILDREN!"
What did he mean? What did Santa want from me?
He seemed to know what I was thinking. With one quick move he showed me a miniature toy bag he was hiding behind his back. I stood there with a look of bewilderment on my face. Santa again said, "Teach the children!”
“Teach them the true meaning of Christmas. The meaning that the Christmas of today has lost.”
He reached in his bag, pulled out a small Fir tree, and placed it on the floor.
"Teach the children that the green color of the stately fir remains green all year long. This reminds us of the everlasting hope of mankind. And also remember that all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven.”
Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a brilliant star.
"Teach the children that the star is the heavenly sign of promises. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of fulfillment of His promise.”
He reached into his bag a third time and pulled out a candle.
"Teach the children that the candle reminds us that Christ is the light of the world. When we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.”
Once again he reached into this amazing bag, removed a wreath, and placed it next to the tree.
“Teach the children that the wreath is the symbol of the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.”
Next, he pulled from his bag a Christmas ornament depicting him.
“Teach the children that Santa Claus symbolizes the generosity and good will we feel during the entire month of December.”
He then pulled a holly leaf from his bag.
“Teach the children that the holly represents the crown of thorns worn by our Savior when He died on the cross. The red holly berries represent the blood He shed for us.”
Next he pulled from his bag a gift-wrapped box, with a beautiful ribbon.
“Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son. We must always remember this is the real gift of Christmas.”
Santa then reached in his bag, pulled out a delicious looking red-and-white stripped 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 really are our brother's keeper.”
He reached into his bag one more time and pulled out an angel.
“Teach the children that the angels heralded the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men.”
I heard a soft twinkling sound. 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 back to the fold. The bell symbolizes guidance and return.”
Santa looked at me and I could see there was a pleasant smile on his face. 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. I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and how I worship him, our LORD, our GOD.”