"Mr. and Mrs. Claus" 2013
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4 1/4" x 5 1/2", blank inside, with envelopeBefore we even entered the beautiful wreath adorned door, we detected holiday aromas of warm oven-baked bread and Christmas potpourri of cinnamon, vanilla, with a hint of pine. What a warm welcome! She escorted each of us in with a big, warm Cat-Hug (that’s her name – Cat – famous for her hugs! We always look forward to a gathering at her home because a superbly gifted hostess she is!)
As other members of our bible study continued to arrive, the chatter volume gradually began to raise, the laughter level increased, and her fabulously decorated large home seemed to grow smaller. Yes, love had established itself there.
Suddenly, the melodic tune of the doorbell rang. Being near the entrance at the time, I played the role of hostess. As I started to open the door, I took note of the “giggle, giggle” happening on the other side. Smiling, I thought to myself, “More girlfriends!”
I opened the door, and in shock and awe, stood face to face with Mr. and Mrs. Claus - alive and in person. “Ho-Ho-Ho – Merrrry Christmas!!” bellowed Santa. Truly stunned and nearly speechless, I hesitantly decided the polite thing to do was to invite them in. With the excitement of a four-year-old, I called the rest of the girls over as I ushered in our unexpected, yet very special guests. A lot of gushing, ooh-ing, and aah-ing took place, all the while Mr. and Mrs. Claus remained in character. “Who is that?”, I heard some ask. By that time, we had identified Mrs. Claus, but Santa remained a mystery until someone recognized her beautiful, sparkly eyes slightly hidden behind “his” unruly curly white beard and wire-rimmed glasses.
So true to their loving, fun, and creative nature, Trudy and Jamie, came bearing gifts that we will never forget - hugs, laughter to the point of tears (and other things), and joy in Him. No material gifts were exchanged that day, and even if there were, they'd have been forgotten by now. What remains though are the relationships and the experience we had together. And that is just what Jesus wants with you.
There is some controversy as to why Santa’s big entrance coincides with Jesus’ birthday. While they both come bearing gifts, Santa makes his cameo appearance on Christmas Eve, mysteriously landing on our roofs, and somehow sliding his rotund and heavy clothed body down our soot lined chimneys, leaving generous gifts that have miraculously escaped the filth of the fireplace. After making his deposit, Santa is off to the North Pole, never to be heard from again - until next year. There are toys, dolls, video games, clothing, pajamas, books, and games – if you’re one of the lucky ones. All great fun, but most soon lose their favor in the hours, days, or months to follow.
So not like Jesus. See, on Christmas (Jesus’ birthday), Jesus was, and is, God’s greatest gift to the world because in Him is eternal life that never loses its value in our lives. And if that isn’t enough, Jesus Himself comes bearing gifts to those that seek Him with all their hearts. He never dumps His gifts and flies back home – actually, He takes up residence in us and promises never to leave us. And His gifts keep coming throughout the year as He demonstrates His mercy, grace, presence, and love daily.
Oh it is fun to visit Santa at the Mall, get great photos of our children, our pets, or even ourselves! Those can certainly be loving memories etched in our hearts. But if you are looking for more than a memory, someone who understands your deepest needs and desires, you don’t have to wait til next Christmas to sit to the lap of Santa. You can run today to the Cross of Christ, King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!
P.S. Many thanks to the girls in the Angels of the Morning bible study for an unforgettable Christmas luncheon. (And by the way, they know they are not real angels – but, some would say they are to each other!)