Christmas fireplace

December is here. It’s time to mail my Christmas cards. I’ve been told that I’m a little odd as I like to have them mailed by the first of December.

I mail cards to about 150 people and I handwrite each one. So — I like to start early.

Two heroes that stand out this month — Santa Claus and Jesus.

When I was younger, I wanted to be Santa Claus. A strange hero. I didn’t pay much attention to his weight, nor his white beard or the fact that he didn’t really use too many words. (Ho-ho-ho does not a vocabulary make …)

What I liked about the “idea” of Santa Claus is that no one was forgotten. Everyone received a gift. Even if you were naughty, you still received a piece of coal in the fireplace, and coals can glow.

Perhaps my mind was too Pollyanna-ish. (Pollyanna played a game that consisted of finding something to be glad about in every situation. It originated in an incident one Christmas when Pollyanna, who was hoping for a doll in the missionary barrel, found only a pair of crutches inside. Making the game up on the spot, Pollyanna’s father taught her to look at the good side of things—in this case, to be glad about the crutches because “we didn’t need to use them!”)

Growing up, wanting to be Santa Claus didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

Now, I look around and see many people who have been left behind. Children whose parents don’t really care whether they exist or not. Seniors whose families have forgotten them.

It makes me sad.

So I try to do my part such as sending a card to let people know they’re remembered.

Christmas is not only about children. Christmas is about people. And we seem to have a lot of lonely ones in this world.

The next time you’re sitting next to someone who looks grumpy, sad, angry, or distant, say hello. And tell them something you notice about them that’s nice.

“You have a kind face.” In a few years, it could be us.

My belief in Santa Claus as a man who drops in Christmas Day to drop off gifts is gone. It is replaced with a reality. A Man who doesn’t only want to drop in on us once a year. A Man who wants a relationship with us. A Man whose gifts are not only material but emotional and spiritual.

My only hero now? My Friend named Jesus.



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