|Savannah and Santa|
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Do You Believe This?
This is the tenth in a series of Christmas posts written by my brother, Tom. Pictured is his granddaughter, Savannah, and our youngest brother, Santa Don.
One morning, my 4 year old granddaughter (with as much seriousness as she
could muster) asked her father, "Dad is Santa Claus real? I want to
know. Tell me the truth!" Her first clue came because she had recently
returned from multiple Christmas events where Santa had appeared in one form or
another. These events included a gala at
my brother's home where the Santa looked suspiciously like my youngest brother. As she sat on his lap she mentioned that his
beard looked fake. Although age four and
a half seemed a little young to break the traditional story line, her
persistence demanded that he come clean.
Instead of being disappointed, she instantly became an arbiter of all truth. Immediately she saw through the Tooth Fairy, Easter bunny and her Fairy Godmother. One afternoon, shortly thereafter, while I was walking with her through our backyard “secret forest trail” where the elves had constructed a wreath and hung it on an old fence post, I pointed out the withering vine-covered wreath and reminded her that it was made by elves. She promptly informed me “Papa, I really know you made the wreath." That quickly, we were all adults. Where did the childlike fantasy go?
In 1897 Virginia O’Hanlon wrote to the New York Sun to ask the truth about Santa Clause. Her letter was a sincere plea for the facts. I wished our response could have been as clever:
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist… The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see… Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
God’s gift that we celebrate this Christmas season is his Son. God’s Son during his public life made a statement to a grieving woman. Then he asked her,“Do you believe this?” I think this question is just a valid today in our questioning and doubting world. This holiday season I ask that you share this verse with your friends and family. It is the reason for our hope.John 11: 25-26