Take Christmas! There He Sat, Yes, Virginia! The Christmas Creed, and Other Holiday Readings

November 30, 2009 - 1:26 pm 8 Comments

Take Christmas
Take Christmas; Take the ancient, the medieval, and the modern
Take what is sacred, secular, solemn, and silly
Take Teutonic evergreen and Persian sun, and Druidic mistletoe
Take Jewish flame, and Greek feast, and Roman presents
Take a Bethlehem babe in a stable surrounded by shepherds and kings, with a brilliant star overhead
Take a mid-eastern saint transformed through the centuries to being a red-suited jolly elf with a sackful of toys and reindeer sleigh
Take music from as many countries as the imagination can grasp
Take Amdahl and Scrooge and Rudolph
Take the lighted tree and the punch bowl and greeting cards
Take carolers and charitable gifts and candlelight services
Take all or any part of this holiday
Take its light, its courage, its hope, its joy, its peace, its goodwill.
Take Christmas– but to take it, you must give it , too!
Christopher Raible

There He Sat

There he sat, red suit, conical hat, fur trimmed and all… On that chilly park bench, glancing skyward, as though he were assessing the chance for snow.

I sat beside him, and I asked him, Why aren’t you out there, on the corner, with your iron pot and bell?

Oh, I am not one of them” he replied… I happen to BE Santa Claus!

I quickly smiled, but my doubt must have showed.

“I really am,” he said, a trifle wistfully.

“But how can I tell if you are the real Santa Claus?”

“That is the question”, said he, “How to tell the true prophet from the false?”

“But do you really live at the North Pole?”

“Legend”, he replied, “The fact is that I am everywhere.”

“Are you omniscient and omnipotent?”

“No, I think you have mistaken me for a friend of mine.”

A little embarrassed, I yet persisted, ” Perhaps you only THINK you are Santa Claus.

Well, that would be my problem, not yours. But I might point out that there are no children around.”

“That is odd”, I conceded.
“The reason”, he said, “is that I cannot be seen.”

Like a chess player yelling checkmate, I said, “I see you!”

“And that is your problem, not mine”

We both looked up into the sky.

“It might snow,” he said, “Its better when it snows. But snow or not, I must be going.”

“Going Where?”, I asked. “To distribute toys, of course!

One last question: What IS the spirit of Christmas?

“Well, if you want to sound scholarly, you might call it the ultimate potential. It is the moment when the best that is human surmounts all the stumbling blocks on the path to becoming your full and true self.
You care, so you help. You love, so you give. And you dream… You dream of the time when this brief season will be extended to the whole year.”

“Don’t you get discouraged?”

“Dear me, I have only been at this for a few centuries. Give me time.”

Then he called out: Blizten, Blitzen! Where is that darted deer?

Suddenly, there came, a cloud of snow, right upon us …
And when I had wiped my eyes clear, I was alone on the bench.
But there, in the new snow, there were hoof marks, and there was one large dry spot on the bench….

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus!
By Charles Dana of the New York Sun 1897

Dear Virginia;
Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or women’s are little.

In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary the world would be if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias!

There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance, to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light within with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies!
You might get your Papa to hire men to watch in chimneys on Christmas evening to catch Santa Claus, but even if you do not see Santa coming down, what would that prove?

Nobody ever sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor adults can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that is no proof they are not there.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle, and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart.

Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory behind it. Is it real? Ah, Virginia, in all the world there is nothing more real or abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God, he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia…
Nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

A Christmas Creed
We believe that mistletoe is more significant than missiles
We believe that the Bethlehem star outshines our satellites
We believe that the gifts of the wise men have not suffered from inflation;
We believe that the fear of the shepherds is more healthy than the fear of rockets
We believe that Joseph’s dreams shall outwit Herod’s hate
We believe that our journey to the manger is more important than a trip to the moon . Frederick W. Ringe

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