We knew he was on his way, and the anticipation made us shudder with excitement. One of the major symbols of the season had made special arrangements with Heaven to stop by and tell us why he visits homes all over the world during Christmas.
It was a long trip from the North Pole to the cozy little hamlet of Flower Mound, Texas, but, the jolly old man in the bright red suit was eager to send a message to the parents of little boys and girls everywhere.
“Children are the real reason for the season,” he said with a wide smile as his eyes gleamed and lit up his face like a flickering candle. “When you think about gift-giving during this time of year, it’s important to remember that your children are, and will always be, the greatest gift you’ll ever receive,” added the rosy-cheeked cherub.
“How are you able to travel the globe on Christmas Eve and slide down all those chimneys with presents?” I asked. “Well, I have a marvelously swift team of reindeer and the most industrious elves in the universe; however, our journey is made possible by the divine inspiration that has blessed us all. As every parent knows, childhood can be a difficult time, so whenever you can bring some joy to those precious little ones in our world, you’re doing God’s work,” said the portly one. Given his generously proportioned girth, I wondered how he was able to make his way down all those rather narrow passageways. “Very carefully,” he replied with a sly grin.
Inasmuch as he’s able to visit millions of homes during a single night, I asked how he was able to successfully handle such a demanding schedule. “Well,” he said, stroking his long white beard, “like most busy people in the modern world; I had to keep up with the technology, so I use an iPad.” As for those homes that don’t have a chimney, the spiritual essence of Christmas merely winked and said, “For those who have faith, all things are possible.” I wanted to know about that famous list of children who have been naughty or nice, and the decision, vis-à-vis, who gets gifts. Did he really put a lump of coal in some stockings?
“Children are like sponges, they soak up the stimuli that surround their world. There are times when a child is impish, but that’s why parents have such a crucial role in those embryonic stages of development. Mothers and fathers instinctively know that children need more than nurturing, they need guidance. Part of that guidance is teaching them right from wrong. However, forgiveness is also part of the learning process, and those who may have temporarily gone astray, should know that some bad behavior in the past will not define their future. Every child is precious and should be provided with unconditional love, including forgiveness for their trespasses,” he added.
While Santa’s interview was taking place a neighbor stopped by with her 2 children (We had told her about the saintly visitor and hoped she could make it). In the middle of a series of hearty “ho, ho, ho’s” from our world-renowned guest, a cute little head popped around the corner of a room off the den. It was 9-year-old Kaira Nobles, who blurted, with eye-popping exhilaration, “I knew Santa Claus lived in Flower Mound!!” Her mom NaGuanda followed, holding the tiny hand of one year-old Kirk Jr., who walked slowly into the room, his eyes transfixed on the red-suited giant. I must admit that I was also amazed at the awesome sight of a legendary Christian icon blessing us during the holiest season of the year. He couldn’t stay long because he had several other visits to make before heading back to rejoin the elves in that icy little North Pole village where all the toys are made.
Nevertheless, he took the time to ask Kaira what she wanted for Christmas. Her answer said volumes about how well she was raised. “I really don’t want very much this year because I got so much last year,” she said with a maturity seldom seen in a child her age. She did mention one item, which I feel certain was overheard by her mom. Meanwhile, my wife Annette noticed that Kirk Jr. began eyeing the little dish of cookies we had set out for our world traveler. Since the rotund figure said he was having difficulty maneuvering down those tight enclosures, he gladly turned over the snacks to the kids.
As dusk approached and he headed for his modern-day sleigh (an SUV he parked in the driveway), a few children at another neighbor’s house were just getting home, after a ride with their grandparents, when they saw the glowing vision across the street. Unsure of what to do, they merely stood there and stared, until Santa spotted them and beckoned for them to come over. They were absolutely giddy with animated delight when they reached the ebullient personality and were swept away by his charm.
I couldn’t have been more impressed with the natural sense of humor and innate ability of this special man, who seemed to have a unique communication with children. Such joyous interaction reminds me why Christmas always grabs me by the heart. Incidentally, Santa reminded me of another marvelous man I interviewed some time ago. In fact, the resemblance is uncanny! You can learn about him at: http://www.crosstimbersgazette.com/index.php/local-news/3635-warriors-against-child-abuse.