The Twinkle in His Eye

Since today is Christmas, I suppose I will tell my Santa story.  Have you ever had the incredible sensation that, “This IS the REAL Santa Claus?”  I will tell you, it is quite a peculiar feeling for someone that is a few Christmases away from the fancy that “This could be more than Santa’s helper.”  I mean, seriously, I do have a few vague memories of sitting on Santa’s lap as a child and truly believing that I was talking to Mr. Claus himself; but to even entertain the thought at my age is a bit buggy.

A dear friend called me up a couple of weeks ago and offered to take me shopping and to the mall.  I had mentioned to her previously that I love to go to the mall at least once at Christmastime to get the feel of the season.  She told me a few weeks earlier that she would take me shopping some time during Christmas.  This was the time.  We split up in the mall, with me assuring her that I would be careful. She said she would be in big trouble if I got hurt on her watch.  I told her I would be fine.

It had been so long since I had actually been in the mall by myself and able to just take my time and stop and poke around where I wanted.  We had parked on one end of the mall, so I started my trek to the other side.  I immediately noticed that one of my favorite Christmas stores (Brookstone) had closed and had been replaced by a clothing store.  Sad.  I will miss it.  I stopped in one of the large department stores and located a gift that I was able to mark off my list.  Then as I stepped back out into the mall, I noticed that they had moved those delicious smelling cinnamon buns from the food court over to this section of the mall.  I’ve no idea why – doesn’t really make sense; but onward I continued.

At this point I was getting down toward the area where Santa’s helper (aka “Santa“) was camping out for the season.  His enchanted area was surrounded by a tall, silver, glittery wall of lights.  I could not see over the wall to be able to tell if anyone was actually there.  I went around and around – and around – and finally came to the entrance area.  You could just get a peek into the Santa station to get a glimpse of the big guy.  What I saw was Santa in his chair with a child on his lap.  In front of him sat a wheel chair with a young man in it.  Santa was bent toward this young man, listening while the young man earnestly spoke to him.  It was one of those Hallmark moments.  I hope that the young man’s Christmas wish does come true.

I moved down toward the other half of the mall, stopping at shops here and there.  I was tempted by coffee in the center of the mall, but knew that my friend and I would be meeting for lunch soon, so I passed on by.  I found some really good deals for myself.  That seems to happen to me at Christmas time.  I can’t find the gifts that I am looking for but can find plenty of items for myself!  I made my way back up toward the food court.  I came up by the Santa area again.

As I approached the wall of lights to the entrance opening, I peeked over to see if Santa was engaged.  The funniest thing… he was standing there beside his chair.  He turned around and looked at me as if he had been waiting for me to stop back by.  With a twinkle in his eye, he gave me a wave, a smile and a dip of his head.  I looked around to see if there was anyone else around.  I looked back at him with a puzzled look on my face.  Then he winked at me and I could feel a grin spread across my face.  At that moment, I really did feel like he was the real Santa, (pretending to be Santa’s helper, of course) waiting to hear my secret Christmas wish.  I kind of wish I had gone through that glittery, glistening gate and shared it with him.

I smiled all over myself the rest of the way through my mall adventure.  It was a fun day and I am very appreciative to my friend for the gift and for her thoughtfulness.  It was a very unexpected gift that I will remember and treasure.

As we think about the true meaning of this Christmas season, it is not actually about Santa, or about the presents that we give and receive, or even spending time with family and friends; but it really is about a Gift.  It is about the perfect, unblemished Gift that God gave us in His Son.

I had the pleasure of watching the first episode of the new streaming series about the life of Christ.  The name of the series is “The Chosen.”  The name of the first episode is “The Shepherd,” and it offers events around the birth that are presented from the point of view and the lives of the shepherds and the significance of the sacrificial lamb.  The theme of the episode is about the perfect unblemished Lamb.   I would highly recommend it to everyone.  You can find it on the VidAngel streaming service or on Facebook.

Before we go past the Christmas season and put the thoughts of the nativity and the perfect Child behind us and rush headlong into another year, I want to ask the same question that our pastor asked us at the end of his message this week, “Have you found the Unblemished Lamb?”  I have, and I would like to think that new born Baby, all swaddled up in that manager, had a sparkle in His eye on that special night over two thousand years ago!

Merry Christmas and God bless!

~~~

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  (Isaiah 9:6-7)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  (John 1:14)

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