Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Believe in Santa Claus

I believe in Santa Claus.

I’m not talking about the 4th century Greek bishop named St. Nicholas who gave up his riches to help the poor. Of course he existed. No, I’m talking about St. Nick, the chubby, jolly old elf with the white beard, red suit, and belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly when he laughs. That Santa. I believe in him.

Do I believe he sneaks into my house on Christmas Eve to plant presents under my tree? No, I do not. I’ve stayed up far too late wrapping presents to know better. Do I believe he lives in a magical, invisible workshop at the North Pole where hundreds of little elves make toys for good boys and girls? No, of course not.  I’ve been to Target. I know where the toys come from.

I don’t believe in flying reindeer or a sleigh that can bend the space-time continuum as to allow him to visit every house on the planet in one night.

But I do believe Santa exists. Because I’ve seen him.

He exists in the hearts of those who are true givers. People like my wife. She’s good at giving. It is just part of her nature. She’s miserable if she’s not doing something for someone else. That’s right, I married Santa!

I’ve seen Santa in a lot of my co-workers at Compassion International—people who have given their entire careers to helping poor children escape poverty. And I see him in the hundreds of thousands of sponsors who give to a child on the other side of the planet, simply because it’s the right thing to do. That’s Santa.

I see Santa in the volunteers at the soup kitchens, homeless shelters and church food pantries. I see him in those who organize fundraisers to clothe, feed and educate those less fortunate. I’ve seen Santa in the pastor of the small church who just wants to “feed the sheep” even though it requires getting a second job to make his own ends meet. I see Santa in the single moms and dads who have to pull double duty and sacrifice personal desires to make sure their children have everything they need. I saw him in my grandmother and my aunt and uncle who inherited five rowdy little orphans and did their best to make sure we all grew up healthy. 

Santa teaches Sunday School for kindergartners at my church. And he does the 5K every year to help raise money for those with cancer, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome and other disorders. Santa prays for people he's never even met. He’s a busy guy, this Santa.

So yeah, I believe in Santa Claus. And he doesn’t work just one night a year. He’ll be around in February, June, October…all year long. All you have to do is look for him. I bet you even know him. Heck, I bet you’re even Santa sometimes too.

If you believe in Santa like I do, tell the world. Share your stories of where you've seen Santa. This year, let’s tell the world we believe in Santa. Share this message. Share the “I Believe” button on your Facebook wall, or make it your profile pic. Tweet it.

It’s time we all started believing!