Recently my husband, who works security at the airport, came across an interesting passenger flying out of Salt Lake City. As he stood at his post, items came along the moving belt that captured his notice. First a wide black belt, with a large, ornate buckle. Then a pair of tall, black boots. And last, a large red coat trimmed with white fur. The owner of these items had a bushy white beard and a twinkle in his eye.
It is difficult for children to believe in Santa. It seems like they lose their belief at a younger age now then in years past. Each one of my children has said this year that kids at school tell them Santa Claus does not exist, and my youngest is in kindergarten! But my children still believe. They believe in a generous heart, they believe in doing good works. They believe in being kind to others.
There is no harm in Santa Claus. The harm comes when we put receiving above giving, when we let ourselves get caught up in the next big gift item and make the packages under the tree more important than the true reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. Essentially, it’s a matter of choice.
Last Sunday, on the way to church, one of my children announced he would like to do more Christmas shopping—just for fun. I pointed out that people seldom shop this time of year for fun; it’s fast becoming an Olympic worthy sport. So we talked about the shopping they had already done, and I reminded each of them Christmas is not about the gifts. “Why do we celebrate Christmas?” I asked. “Jesus’ birthday!” they chorused.
I believe in Santa. But I also believe he has many helpers all over the world who catch things one lone man may miss. After all, the spirit of service essentially means we look after one another—if our Heavenly Father and his Son are pleased by our assisting each other, surely Santa Claus can benefit from our sharing of the true spirit of Christmas. We are each a little warmer of heart when we consider the needs or wants of others, even in the smallest of ways.
And who’s to say Santa didn’t take a quick stop in Salt Lake City this year on his way back from vacation? My family and I would like to wish you all a joyous and generous holiday season.
Cheri Chesley and Family