I remember lying awake in bed one Christmas Eve. I shared a room with my sister. She slept on the left side but I slept on the other, right underneath the window. The blue lights my mom hung glowed over my head, and I remember just staring at them, feeling a glow that only you can feel at Christmas time.
But this one particular night I remember repeating (with my eyes closed) I Believe, I Believe, I Believe! Of Course I was talking about Santa Claus. You see, I was hoping that if I declared it enough and I truly believed, that I would hear him land on my roof at any moment.
Unfortunately I fell asleep before I could remember and then it was Christmas morning. But I have never forgotten the magic I felt that night.
Fast forward many years later. I am now a mother of four. I find myself still saying I Believe, I Believe, I Believe. The magic is still in my heart. And I have a great privilege to bring the magic to my children.
Every year I ask myself the same question “Do I Believe?” Do I believe in the spirit of St. Nick and the joy of giving gifts? Do I Believe in the Savior who’s birth made all that I enjoy possible? I did a little reading on St. Nick and found that he was a real man who dedicated his life to serving Jesus. Although there is little known about him, he was a man who gave his life helping those in need. His legacy of compassion has now turned into the Santa we celebrate at Christmas.
But we often place Santa before the true meaning of Christmas. I don’t think that St. Nicholas would like this at all. He who devoted his life to serving God by giving his time, talents, and means to be the Lord’s instrument would want us to remember the Ultimate Gift this Christmas: our Savior. He who bore gifts to lift other’s burdens would want us to remember that it was to bring other’s to Christ. What moved this early saint to acts of goodwill? It was the spirit of CHRISTmas! That spirit still lives today. I know it because I feel it. And it seems that it is most often felt at Christmas time. It is what motivates me to help a little more, serve a little more, think of others a little more, and give gifts to show that I care. The spirit of Christ is what makes the magic! IT is peace on earth goodwill toward men!
Do I still Believe? You Bet I do! I believe in the magic. I believe in the spirit of Santa Claus that creates miracles in the lives of so many every Christmas season. I believe in the spirit of Christ who is the ultimate gift and the reason we celebrate Christmas. It is Christ who was the reason for the season then and now!
I BELIEVE! Merry Christmas!
Our family has established a family tradition. Each Christmas Eve, we gather together around the tree. With the lights low and the fire burning in the fireplace, we ask the question once again, the most important question of the year, “Is it okay if we believe one more year?”—not only believe in the traditions of childhood with Santa Claus and reindeer, but more importantly in the message of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whose birthday we are celebrating. – Ardeth G. Kapp
From “Christmas Remembered,” printed in the December 1988 New Era.
This article first appeared on Real Imprints