I believe in Santa Claus. I have to for the sake of my grandchildren. They are convinced that Santa and Mrs. Claus, who appeared recently at the lighting of the Old Blanco County Courthouse, are the real thing. All the other Santa’s are just their helpers.
I have to believe in flying reindeer; stockings stuffed with candy, nuts and toys; Christmas trees twinkling with bright lights topped by angels or stars; and I believe that if I don’t behave as I ought, Santa just might give me a lump of coal. Santa is the epitome of the genuine good guy who provides good things for children of all ages, colors, creeds, nationalities and genders.
Now, I have to admit that not everyone shares my beliefs—and that’s O.K. It’s one of the blessings of living in a country where differences are tolerated and even celebrated--at least in theory. But I have to ask myself, “What is the real reason for the season?” Surely it isn’t just about Santa Claus, elves, colorful gift-wrap, twinkling lights and hectic last-minute shopping.
We are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago. “None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth. He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made’ (John 1:3).
“He ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38), yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to follow His example. He walked the roads of Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see, and raising the dead. He taught the truths of eternity, the reality of our premortal existence, the purpose of our life on earth, and the potential for the sons and daughters of God in the life to come.
“He instituted the sacrament as a reminder of His great atoning sacrifice. He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob, and sentenced to die on Calvary’s cross. He gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. His was a great vicarious gift on behalf of all who would ever live upon the earth… His life, which is central to all human history, neither began in Bethlehem nor concluded on Calvary. He was the Firstborn of the Father, the Only Begotten Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world. He rose from the grave to ‘become the first fruits of them that slept” (I Cor. 15:20).
“He will someday return to earth. ‘And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together’ (Isaiah 40:5). He will rule as King of Kings and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall bend and every tongue shall speak in worship before Him. Each of us will stand to be judged of Him according to our works and the desires of our hearts…”
Jesus is the living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.” (Excerpts from “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” LDS, January 1, 2000)
Yes, Santa Claus pales when compared to the Living Lord. “God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.”