Just a week before Christmas, I
had a visitor. This is how it happened. I had just finished the
household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed when I
heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door of
the front room, and to my surprise, Santa Clause himself stepped out
from behind the Christmas tree. He placed his fingers over my mouthso
I would not cry out.
"What are you doing......" I
started to ask but the words choked in my throat as I saw he had
tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone...gone was the
eager, boisterous soul we all know.
He then answered me with a simple
statement of "TEACH THE CHILDREN." I was puzzled. What did he mean?
He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth
a miniature toy boy from behind the tree. As I stood there
bewildered, Santa said again, "TEACH THE CHILDREN." Teach them the
old meaning of Christmas--the meaning that Christmas now has
I started to say, "How can
I..." when Santa reached into the toy bag and pulled out a brilliant
"Teach the children the star was
the heavenly sign of promise long ages ago. God promised a saviour
for the world and the start was a sign of the fulfillment of that
promise. The countless shining stars at night--one for each man--now
show the burning hope of all mankind. " Santa gently laid the star
upon the fireplace mantle and drew forth from the bag a glittering
red Christmas tree ornament.
"Teach the children red is the
first color o Christmas. It was firsst used by the faithful people to
remind them of the blood which was shed for all the people by the
Savior. Christ gave his life and shed his blood that every man might
have God's gift of eternal life. Red is deep, intense, vivid--it is
the reatest color of all. It is the symbol of the gift of
"Teach the children," he said as
he dislodged a small Christmas tree from the depths of the toy bag.
He placed it before the mantle and gently hung the red ornament on
it. The deep green of the fir tree was a perfect background for the
ornament. Here was the second color of Christmas.
"The pure green color of the
stately fir tree remais green all year round," he said. "This depicts
the everlasting hope of mankind. Green is the youthful, hopeful,
abundant color of nature. All the needles point, heavenward--sybols
of Man's returning thought toward heaven. The great green tree has
been man's best friend. It has sheltered him, warmed him, made beauty
for him." Suddenly I heard a soft tinkling sound.
"Teach the children that as the
lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring for man
to return to the fold--it means guidance and return, it further
signifies that all are precious in the eyes of the Lord." As the soft
sound of the bell faded into the night, Santa drew forth a candle. He
placed it on the mantle and the soft glow from its tiny flame cast a
glow about the darkened room. Odd shapes in shadows slowly danced and
weaved upon the walls.
"Teach the childen," whispered
Santa, "that the candle shows man's thanks for the star of long ago.
Its small light is the mirror of starlight. At first candles were
placed on the trees--they wre like many glowing stars shining against
the dark green. The colored lights have now taken over in
Santa turned on the small
Christmas tree lights and picked up a gift from under the tree. He
pointed to the large bow and said, "A bow is placed on a present to
remind us of the spirit of the brotherhood of man. We should remember
that the bow is tid as men should be tied, all of us together, with
the bonds of good wil toward each other. Good will forever is the
message of the bow."
Santa slung his bag over his
shoulder and began to reach for the candy cane placed high on the
tree. he unfastened it and reached out toward me with it.
"Teach the children that the candy
cane represents the shepherd's crook. The crook on the staf helps
bring back the strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane represents
the helping hand we should show at Christmas time. The candy cane is
the symbol that we are our brothers' keepers."
As Santa looked about the room a
feeling of satisfaction shone on his face. He read wonderment in my
eyes, and I am sure he sensed my admiration for this
He reached into his bag and
brought forth a large holly wreath. He placed it on the door and
said,"Please teach the children the wreath symbolizes the eternal
nature of love; it never ceases, stops or ends. It is one continuous
round of affection. The wreath does double duty. It is made of many
things and in many colors. It should remind us of al the things of
Christmas. Please teach the children."
I pondered and wondered and
thrilled at all those symbols. To give, to help, to love, and to
serve...and Santa, he's the sign of giving...that jolly old elf...and
yes, I shall teach the children.