It's really hard for me to lie to them about the whole concept of Santa-- that he comes to their home and gives them presents and eats their cookies then flies away with his reindeer-- especially when, more than likely, there will be no Christmas tree or stockings adorning their little homes this Christmas. But I want them to understand who he is so that, when their classroom teachers ask them to write a letter to "Santa," they will understand just what is going on.
And I haven't even touched on the heart of it all, the reason Christmas is so much more meaningful to me. As we flip through our Christmas vocabulary books, M finds a picture of a nativity scene. Curious, I ask "What do you think this is?" And in broken English, without hesitation, he says "Baby... here... kings... bring gold." And I smile.
This is where my heart lies: in telling my students about the things that make my heart leap. And it's why I'm on Earth, too.
Today, this Christmas Eve, my heart waits in anticipation for celebrating Jesus' birth once again. I anticipate the coming of the newborn King once again-- but this time with my eyes drawn toward the sky, admiring Him coming down on the clouds, undoubtedly as King of All. He's our Thrill of Hope, the New and Glorious One for a weary, weary world.
I'll probably sing "Here comes Santa Claus" a time or two tonight, and I'll be thinking about my sweet littles, but I pray my heart will dwell on richer Christmas words such as these:
"Oh, Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
til He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
Oh night divine, the night when Christ was born."