Daddy, Where's Santa Clause?
I am writing to you today, dear citizens, because of a question that my young son asked me before bedlast night. As I was helping him don his Looney Tunes pajamas he asked me about some people he saw today when he was downtown shopping with his mom. He told me that he saw kids that were really dirty and they were crying. He asked about those children and I told him that they didn't have real homes to live in and that they were making the best of what they had. He then asked me about Santa Clause. I thought this an odd question to ask after the serious question about the kids. Then he explained.
It seems that Santa Clause comes to his home every year. He brings toys and candy, jackets and even the pajamas he was wearing came from Santa last year. Where was Santa Clause for those kids? He wanted to know why Santa did not visit all the homes in the world. He believes that Santa is the one good thing that happens to all children across the world, but then he sees a report about Haiti or a report about Iran. He is sad that the children in these other places do not have what they want. He wants to know where Santa Clause is when he sees those children that are suffering while he is lying safe and warm in his bed.
I tucked in my son, kissed him on the forehead, and before I left the room, he told me that he wanted to write a letter to Santa asking him to give all his presents to the kids that don't have any. He believed that it was possible that Santa was just running low on presents and he wanted to be sure that other kids got presents this year. As I walked out of his room my chest welled up with pride. My son was growing up, and learning to be generous and understanding. What more could a father hope for.
So, I am writing this letter to you, kind people, to talk to you about my son, and to talk to you about social change. Christmas is a time for giving. The symbolic giving of gifts to loved ones is to indicate that we are giving gifts to Jesus, in whose name Christmas was coined. Giving to your friends and family is like giving to Jesus. But it is so much more than that. It is giving to those who need it most. My little boy knows this. Just like most children, his heart is full of uncontrolled love of humankind. Children don't care about the color of skin, accent of those speaking, or the religion that others support or worship. Children are what we all should be learning from. Adults tend to forget about Christmas the holiday, and think of Christmas as the time of year when pretty lights, bright packages and big colorful trees surround their lives. Christmas has become the commercial profit center for the world. It is terribly unfortunate that we have forgotten the very things we have taught our children to be.
This year, as you are buying the fancy dresses and high priced motorized cars remember the children who don't know Santa Clause. Remember those children who look forward to the excitement of a full belly or a pair of shoes. Remember those children who, like your own children, long for a time when they can have a warm bed to snuggle into and parents to hug them. When you are giving gifts at the office, give a gift of unselfishness and compassion to others. Those people in the funny hats and big bells are not working toward their own goals; they are working to help Santa Clause in our own country. Salvation Army is a wonderful organization that brings Santa to the underappreciated poor. The United States Marines do the same thing, as do many police departments across the country. Is it that difficult to take one of those toys you bought for your child whose room is overwhelmed with toys, and put it in a barrel for Toys for Tots? Is it impossible to believe that giving to Jesus is giving to those who have nothing? Well, the giving is for Jesus. Opening your heart and giving to a child who you do not know is like giving a gift to Jesus, who you would love to know.
Even those who are not religious need to appreciate Santa Clause. After all, you celebrate Christmas, too, don't you? You give gifts to your children, your loved ones and your friends. Give a little to someone who would have nothing. Give a certificate of hope for a better day tomorrow. Give a turkey to a neighbor who has a lot of children. Give a sidewalk free of snow to an elderly neighbor who struggles to keep his driveway clear. Give until you don't think you can give any more, then give some more.
The economy is not great right now, and the philanthropic few are unable to cover the entire world, as much as they would like to. You can be a philanthropist yourself. Twenty dollars goes a long way to feed a hungry family. A twenty dollar blanket will keep a child warm, a new mother feeling a little hope. My son is giving everything he would get to other children in places he's never seen, never heard of and many times cannot even pronounce. Maybe it is time we all took the lead from the sons and daughters of our lives, those who are willing to sacrifice for the happiness of others.
Sit in front of your fireplace and look out your winter wonderland window. Watch the snow fall, and imagine that poor snowman in your front yard. He's freezing, but he's satisfied. Why, because he's in a loving home environment with people who took the time to make him just right. They made sure that he had his hat, his coat, and his perfect carrot nose. The coal buttons are securely fastening his snow coat shut, keeping out the winter weather. Now, think of the children like the ones my son saw. Their shoes worn thin, their jackets barely keeping the cold wind out, their noses cold, and their stomachs empty, how many can really walk past and just do nothing? I can imagine a world full of selfish people, but I'd rather consider a world full of generosity and compassion. We don't have to sacrifice much, but to sacrifice some is to think of others.
Can't you be Santa Clause for those people, like my son chooses to be? Can't Santa Clause be the one person that lives within us all? After all, it is truly better to give than to receive isn't it?