When was the last time you read this story? Maybe today is a good time to do just that.
TEACH THE CHILDREN
Late one Christmas Eve, I sank back, tired, but content, into my easy chair.
The kids were in bed, the gifts were wrapped, the milk and cookies waited by the fireplace for Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its decorations, I couldn't help feeling that something important was missing. It wasn't long before the tiny twinkling tree lights lulled me to sleep. I don't know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew that I wasn't alone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine my surprise when I saw Santa Claus, himself, standing next to my Christmas tree.
He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot just as the poem described him, but he was not the "jolly old elf" of Christmas legend. The man who stood before me looked sad and disappointed. And there were tears in his eyes.
"Santa, what's wrong?" I asked, "Why are you crying?" "It's the children," Santa replied sadly. "But Santa, the children love you," I said. "Oh, I know they love me, and they love the gifts I bring them," Santa said, "but the children of today seem to have somehow missed out on the true spirit of Christmas. It's not their fault. It's just that the adults, many of them not having been taught themselves, have forgotten to teach the children." "Teach them what?" I asked. Santa's kind old face became soft, more gentle. His eyes began to shine with something more than tears.
He spoke softly. "Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see, hear, and touch is much more than meets the eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the customs and traditions of Christmas which we now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent."
Santa reached into his bag again and pulled out a shiny star and placed it at the top of the small tree. "The star was the heavenly sign of promise. God promised a Savior for the world and the star was the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on the night that Jesus Christ was born. Teach the children that God always fulfills His promises, and that wise men still seek Him."
Santa found a silver bell in his pack and placed it on the tree. "Just as lost sheep are guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it continues to ring today for all to be guided to the fold. Teach the children to follow the true Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep."
tree like hundreds of bright shining lights, each of them representing one of God's precious children's light shining for all to see."
"Teach these things to the children."
"I asked, "But where does that leave you Santa?"
The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa's face. "Why bless you, my dear," he laughed, "I'm only a symbol myself. I represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving. If the children are taught these other things, there is no danger that I'll ever be forgotten."
"I think I'm beginning to understand."
"That's why I came," said Santa. "You're an adult. If you don't teach the children these things, then who will?"
We hope you are ready for a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.
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