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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 and pulled out a tiny Christmas tree and set it 
on my mantle. "Teach them about the Christmas tree. Green is the 
second color of Christmas. The stately evergreen, with its 
unchanging color, represents the hope of eternal life in Jesus. 
Its needles point heavenward as a reminder that mankind's thoughts 
should turn heavenward as well." 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." "Red," said Santa, "is the first color of 
Christmas." "He pulled forth a red ornament for the tiny tree. 
Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the color of the life-giving 
blood that flows through our veins. It is the symbol of God's 
greatest gift. Teach the children that Christ gave His life and 
shed His blood for them that they might have Eternal Life. When 
they see the color red, it should remind them of that most 
wonderful gift."

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." Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it. The 
soft glow from its one tiny flame brightened the room. "The glow 
of the candle represents how people can show their thanks for the 
gift of God's Son that Christmas Eve long ago. Teach the children 
to follow in Christ's footsteps...to go about doing good. 

Teach them to let their light shine before people that all may see 
it and glorify God. This is what's symbolized when the twinkle 
lights shine on the tree like hundreds of bright shining lights, 
each of them representing one of God's precious children's light 
shining for all to see." Again Santa reached into his bag and this 
time he brought forth a tiny red and white striped cane. As he hung 
it on the tree he spoke softly. "The candy cane is a stick of hard 
white candy. White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless nature 
of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of 
the church, and the firmness of God's promises. The candy cane 
form's a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to 
earth. It also represents the Good Shepherd's crook, which He uses 
to reach down into all ditches of the world to lift out the fallen 
lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray. The original candy cane 
had three small red stripes, which are the stripes of the scourging 
Jesus received by which we are healed, and a large red stripe that 
represents the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the promise 
of Eternal Life. 

Teach these things to the children."

Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh, fragrant greenery 
tied with a bright red bow. "The bow reminds us of the bond of 
perfection, which is love. The wreath embodies all the good things 
about Christmas for those with eyes to see and hearts to understand. 
It contains the colors of red and green and the heaven-turned needles 
of the evergreen. The bow tells the story of good will towards all 
and its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice. Even its very shape 
is symbolic, representing eternity and the eternal nature of Christ's 
love. It is a circle, without beginning and without end. These are
the things you must teach 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." I Said.

"That's why I came," said Santa. "You're an adult. If you don't teach 
the children these things, then who will?"

Author Unknown


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