During the season, it doesn't take long for us all to see the magic that exists when portraying Santa. There are so many experiences that take place with families, particularly children, that can put a smile on your face; a tear in your eye, and joy in your heart...all in the same moment.
While I'm certain there are a few Santas that focus solely on money and trying to get ahead on the business side of things, pushing those around them aside. I'm fairly confident that most still put the needs and dreams of children first, regardless of if there might be financial gain or not.
This Christmas morning, I was not Santa...I was a father, and proof was left of Santa's visit to our home without my help at all. My two young children popped out of bed early and ran in to wake their mother and I. There excitement could be heard in their voices and seen clearly on their faces...Santa had come, Santa had made the journey, to bring them something special, just for them...and they were both on cloud nine.
While it truly is wonderful to be a part of so many families lives and play even a very small part in their own Christmas celebrations...this obviously was different, the magic of Santa was there for my own children, and I was once again a spectator and not a participant.
Now, I've mentioned this before...I'm a giant baby. When I see my own children enjoying the magic of Christmas morning...I can't help but have tears in my eyes. These are the moments, and I am under no illusion in knowing, these years will quickly pass by. Both children seemed to be growing by leaps and bounds this year and I couldn't help but review in my own mind, "was I an active participant?..or did I take a back seat?"
This Christmas was like no other with my broken foot. With strict orders from the doctor to keep my "toes to my noes" to keep my foot from swelling, staying in bed; my amazing wife was pretty much in charge of all things Christmas. Being a season that was largely my job to prepare for, I was always the one that did the bulk of the preparations. My wife, my friend and hero, did the shopping, did the decorating, and even dragged the 8 foot tree into the house. This year, my wife was Santa for all of us. She did the shopping, she did the wrapping, she did the decorating, she made it all work and I am so grateful.
Christmas was wonderful, the gifts were amazing, the food was fantastic, but more importantly, we were also celebrating the "reason for the season" too.
We have a tradition in our family, that while our beautiful porcelain nativity comes out with all of our Christmas decorations, finding a place of importance on top of one of the grand pianos; the baby Jesus is not set in the nativity scene yet. "Santa" places the baby within the nativity when he comes to visit to celebrate His birth.
This is the first thing we ask the children to check, is Jesus in the manger? After this, we move to the stocking and gifts under the tree. We treat Santa, the gift giver, as a special symbol of the love of Christ for us all...giving us all gifts seen and unseen. As my five year old said this year, "Jesus must love us so very much if he's giving US presents on HIS birthday!" ...yes, he loves us more than we can comprehend.
Christmas was an extra special one this year. I was truly just a spectator and participated in very little in all the preparations of the day. I did what I could, but my wife was my Santa this year, and she worked so very hard to make this an amazing year for us all.
Is Santa real? Very much so. I've never met the one and only, but I've seen his mark on the hearts of many. I've seen the magic of Santa Claus many times, and I've seen the beauty that comes from children believing and us all letting our imaginations and hearts dance together.
I truly hope, with all of my heart, that Santa visited your homes, that he touched your lives and hearts, and that the season was so much more than just a job. I hope and pray that each of you had an amazing Christmas, that you continue enjoying the season, and wish you all an amazing and happy New Year!