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Is There Really a Santa Clause?

Many years ago–before most of you were born–a little girl wrote to the editor of a large newspaper and asked, “Is there really a Santa Claus?” His reply was classic, swept the country, and lingered for a long time. He closed with, “Yes Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus.” I’d like to use his line and tell you a story…

You sleep with your sis, so it isn’t any problem to wake her up. “Betty! Betty Jean! Are you awake?” “Hummm?” “Wake up! Come on! Let’s go see what Santa Claus brought us!” (I wasn’t the instigator all the time.)

It was too early to really “get up” so we tiptoed very quietly out of our bedroom–Mother and Daddy sleeping soundly (ummm?) in their isolated bedroom (right behind ours).

And what to our wondering eyes should appear but those precious little dolls we had seen at Sears and told Santa Claus we wanted for Christmas!

He had come and we were ecstatic! We hurried–very quietly, of course–back to bed, snuggled close together and giggled…Mother and Daddy still sleeping soundly in their designated “isolated” place–ummm. What fun! The anticipation, the thrill, the excitement! Wonderful, wonderful memories.

Twenty some-odd years later, I am a grown woman, sophisticated, married, and know so many things that Mother and Daddy didn’t know. I have a little one all my own and I can decide for myself: “Am I going to perpetuate this ‘Santa Claus myth'” You bet I am! We have scads of Christmas pictures from the farm with Mother and Daddy to the parsonage with Bill’s Mom and Pop. Mason, our special little one, just loved tearing open the boxes. It didn’t really matter at the time what was IN the box, so I fixed up lots of boxes for him! Pres, Mace, Will, and Wade saw those cookies and sweet milk and corn disappear that Granddaddy put on the porch. I guess being out in the country and watching Granddaddy putting those delectables out on that dark, dark front porch with the kids leaning cautiously out the door was one of the highlights of my visit home on those Christmas days so long ago.

I don’t remember when each one asked that “question” that we just couldn’t tell another story about, but I do remember Will. I was walking him to kindergarten one morning about that time of year. We were strolling along, holding hands and he quietly asked, “Mother, can reindeer really fly?” I stopped, grabbed him in a Momma-bear hug, and we were a little late for class. But what fun it was while it lasted.

As the Gillhams grew up–Bill and Anabel included–we began talking about just whose birthday Christmas Day really was and eventually we all agreed that Jesus should receive those outrageously priced presents on His birthday and in turn, when our birthdays appeared on the calendar, we would celebrate each birthday with outrageously priced presents, too.

And do you know who was at our house in Christmas of 2003…Cate Anabel and her little brother Will. And that crafty Santa Claus found those cookies and milk and fed his hungry reindeer just like he did years ago. Will just couldn’t believe it–and picked up the few crumbs that were left.

Well, some of you may act like you don’t know me after this, but there is Someone in my life who could easily pass for that wonderful, mystical Santa Claus. But He is so much more! This finding of the gifts is a miraculous everyday thing–not just a once-a-year magic event. I never know what’s waiting for me when I get up in the morning or what surprises I’ll get from Him through the day. It could be a lot of different things: A cardinal taking a bath just outside the kitchen window or ten sparrows crowding in the bathtub all at the same time; the mocking bird singing at the top of his lungs; a beautiful, little red leaf just waiting to be picked up; a note from a friend; “Anabel, you didn’t know that I had just come home from two days in the hospital and that the ice cream Bill brought over was my favorite flavor!” My husband coming in, taking me in his arms and saying, “You’re nice to live with, Honey,” a tender kiss or a loving hug
at church, an incredible sunrise, the breeze on my cheek, the food on the table–He is so creative! And when we walk and talk together through the day I always say, “Thank You, Lord.” Oh, He fills my life with anticipation, excitement, His own eternal, exquisite presence, and His incredible, unconditional love.

And, I have the thrill of telling my grandchildren where the flowers come from just for them, about the “flutter-by” and the slimy snail, the clouds and the scary thunder and the rain and how much the Giver loves them. I can point to all the Christmas lights, the candles, the sparkling trees and I can say, “See? All of those lights are for Jesus! It’s His birthday!” I can teach them to sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know” and tell them about God, the Giver of all good and perfect gifts.

Who knows the exact date when God placed Jesus Christ in a manger as His Gift for you and for me and we celebrate Christmas Day in remembrance? Who knows all of the wonders that were wrapped and left for us that incredible Christmas morning? And He keeps on giving and giving and giving. There is just no limit! He loves and just keeps on loving no matter if I’ve been “naughty or nice!” And every so often He makes the cookies and milk and reindeer corn disappear.

Yes, Virginia, there really is a Santa Claus. His Name is Jesus.

Andy Knight

About the Author

Andy is the user interface designer for YouVersion, the Bible App. He has a passion for sharing God's story of grace and freedom through the internet. Andy lives in Roswell, GA, with his wife and three sons. You can follow him on Twitter at @andyknight.