You better watch out
You better not cry
Better not pout
I’m telling you why…
It’s been a while since I have written a letter to Santa. To be honest I lost faith in the guy many years ago. Don’t get me wrong; I love Santa Claus and Christmas in general. I may have believed in Santa longer than most kids. (It may or may not have been until I was 13 *cough, cough*). But, hey, it was a magical time of year that truly brought me joy, and I wasn’t willing to let that go.
I remember the day I found out Santa doesn’t exist. Every year my family and I spend Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family. Before my parents and I would leave to go to my grandparent’s house, I would make sure we put out cookies and a glass of milk for Santa before locking the door. When we would get back that night, I’d always walk into the house to find that the glass of milk was empty and all but half of one cookie was gone. I thought Santa had left the other half to share with me. After one last glance at the sky, I’d go to sleep.
One year as I wrapped up my routine before I got into the car and buckled up, I realized I forgot my phone in the house. I walked back into the house and caught my dad eating Santa’s cookies! I wasn’t too happy with my dad. Why did he have to eat Santa’s cookies when we had plenty in the car to take to Grandma’s? This was the moment I stopped believing in Santa Claus. It was time for me to start thinking like an adult and forget the things that gave me a childlike mind and imagination. I went to Grandma’s house a little less cheerful that night and every Christmas since has never seemed to have the same magic as it did before.
At some point I had to stop believing in Santa Claus, but I can’t help thinking that I believed in something more than a big jolly bearded man in red. Santa represented something else that brought my family together, made everyone a little kinder to each other, and gave me hope.
I am twenty-three years old now, and in the past three and a half years of following Jesus I am starting to find a spark of that magic again during Christmas time. The faith I have in Jesus reminds me a lot of the faith I had for Santa when I was just a little boy. In Acts 3 there is a story of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, healing a lame man. The miracle, to me, wasn’t so much that a man who had never walked now stood, but that a man who had never walked on his own two legs stood up with bold faith in the power of Jesus Christ. Peter reached out and took a hold of the man, and “instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk” (Acts 3:7-8, NIV). If it wasn’t for Peter’s established foundation on Jesus and faith that one touch could heal a man, he might have missed the chance to see a changed life. A touch can heal the heart even when it cannot change the circumstance. The miracle of Christmas isn’t in Santa Claus himself, but in what he represents in Christmas as a whole¬. It’s found in the kindness people show to one another and the extra consideration of eating cookies to show someone you care. These are doorways revealing the nature and authority of Jesus.
I’ve grown up and my faith isn’t in Santa Claus anymore, but it is in Jesus this Christmas. It may be childlike, but my hope for you this Christmas is to have faith in Jesus just like the faith you had in Santa when you were a kid. No matter how old we get, if we put our faith in Jesus like we did in Santa we can always be sure that we are never alone. Our faith can help us show kindness to people who might need us to have faith in them so they can have just enough faith to stand up and walk again.
This Christmas and for Christmases to come I’ll still be looking out the window before I go to sleep, looking up hoping that I don’t lose faith again.
Merry Christmas y’all!