santa's team

as one tends to do in this season, i've been thinking about santa claus. does he exist?

before you come to a conclusion,
i hope you've done your research and have read this.
and even better, in my opinion, is this.

and as a third evidence, i'd like to add a personal witness to this case.


quite possibly one of my favorite Christmas memories happened this year.

my young single adult ward gave Christmas to a little family in our town. i was very much privileged to be in charge of it. i found out the story of the family and plead their case to my ward members, just hoping that someone would participate.

not only did they participate, but they went the extra mile -- no, the extra few miles. people were so generous. so much that i had to double the assignments for gifts because so many were willing to give. and even then, people still donated food, extra items, and money to help the family.

it took some doing to gather and organize all the presents, including components people had volunteered for a good-sized Christmas meal. but by friday night at 9, everyone had come through and my front table was literally overflowing with gifts for this family.

after quadruple-checking my spreadsheet making sure everything was in place and properly labeled, three friends from the ward and i put everything in big plastic garbage bags. then headed out to make the delivery.

our excitement mounted (at least, i know mine did) in the chilly air as we knocked quietly on the door of the small apartment. this would be our first time meeting the mother; i had previously only talked with her on the phone.

she opened the door and we could tell she was excited. she beckoned us in and we crept quietly as to not wake the five sleeping children. we entered into a smallish living room with a sweet little tree decorated with homemade ornaments, whose lights were the only light source in the room.

i loved seeing her face as we brought in the bags for their family -- more and more bags. between the four of us, we were able to manage bringing the gifts in one trip, but there was still quite a bit.

the best part, however, was what the mother presented to us after we put down all the bags. next to the standard milk and cookies, their little family had made a Christmas card out of an entire poster board folded in half. it was heavily and wonderfully decorated. inside was six pockets, one for each child and the parents. the children had taped a picture of themselves on their respective pocket. inside the pockets were personalized letters to santa from each of them, thanking him for their Christmas. the grateful mother also wrote one as well.

on the way home, the boys in the backseat read the letters aloud. i was driving, so i couldn't look at the beautiful card quite yet, but my eyes got a little misty when i heard some of those words and realized the implications. this was more than just toys, clothing and food for them -- this was their reminder that they hadn't been forgotten. and i realized that we didn't really "give Christmas" to them at all -- they helped us find it.


some people ask if there is a santa claus.

so does he exist? absolutely. i felt him this season more than i ever have since i was young. santa exists, and like the writer in that article you were supposed to read up there, we were on his team.

as i come to understand santa's nature, i better understand the letters he writes to me throughout the years (the letters i still find next to the cookie crumbs and partial glass of milk on Christmas morning). he always makes a point to remind me that it is not him i should be celebrating, but Christ, from whom love really stems. 

because if you look in the right places, you can properly find Christmas. and if you properly find Christmas, you find Christ. and honestly, there's really no greater gift than that.


--jeff * said...

this is a warm and fuzzy post.
thank you for sharing this little bit of awesomeness.

i love the images of you guys sneaking into the house, quiet carrying bags of presents. and i love that your ward was so amazing enough to double up on all the presents.

things like this are why Christmas is so magical.
and i'm sure those kids would totally agree.

Jenny said...

Thanks for posting this. It was amazing indeed, and the spirit of Christ and Christmas was powerful as we had this experience. It was definitely one of my favorite Christmas experiences thus far in my life as well. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you. As my friend's daughter with down syndrome once said, "Mom, Santa and Jesus are like this (with her fingers crossed to show that they are tight, close friends). Truly, this is the case. They are all about "the love" and concern for the individual helping them know that they are special and are remembered.

Garth, Sarah and Sophie said...

This is so wonderful. Christmas has been humble for us for the last couple years, but I can't wait to be a part of something like this. It makes me tear up every time, especially hearing about the thank you letters from the family. How amazing it is to teach your children to be grateful in receiving. I now have a new goal (and new Christmas tradition) to rear my children with gratitude. Thank you Kristin, I very much enjoy your blog.