SBC Life Articles

What’s for Christmas?

What are you getting for Christmas? Huge profits are generated from kids sitting on Santa's lap telling him what they want for Christmas.

I heard about a grandmother and granddaughter who were shopping and all day long the little girl watched her grandmother buy gift after gift. Her grandmother told her that after she had finished shopping she could see Santa. Sure enough she sat on Santa's lap and told him what she wanted for Christmas. As she was leaving, Santa gave her a candy cane. Grandma asked, "What are you supposed to say?" She thought for a minute and said, "Oh yeah, charge it." It's that time of year, isn't it?

A little boy wrote a twelve-page letter to Santa full of requests for toys and gadgets. His parents read the letter, and his dad was just mad as fire. He sat the little boy down in front of the nativity scene and said, "Now you just look at this until you figure out the true meaning of Christmas and then you write Jesus a letter." The little boy stared at the nativity for a while and wrote this letter to Jesus:

"Dear Jesus, I'll be good for a year if you give me everything I want." He tore that letter up and started again. "Dear Jesus, If you give me everything I want I'll be good for six months." He tore that one up and stared at the nativity. He picked Mary up and put her in a shoebox and put it in the closet. He wrote another letter. "Dear Jesus, If you ever want to see your mother again …."

That's more tragic than funny, isn't it? Christmas actually brings out the worst in some of us rather than the best. As a matter of fact, three phrases seem to sum up Christmas these days: peace on earth, goodwill toward men, and batteries not included.

A small girl's father asked her what she would most like for Christmas. The girl, knowing that her mother was expecting, replied, "A baby brother." To everyone's delight, the mother came back from the hospital on Christmas Eve with a baby boy in her arms. Some time later, the father said to his daughter, "And next Christmas what would you like?" "Well," said the girl, after some thought, "if it wouldn't be too uncomfortable for mom, I'd like a pony."

One day a pastor noticed that Jesus was missing from the manger scene. He was shocked when he looked out the window and saw a little boy pulling a red wagon around the parking lot with what looked to him like baby Jesus inside. He strolled out to talk to him and asked, "Is that baby Jesus in the wagon?" "Sure it is," he replied. "Well, where did you get him?" "I got him from the church." The pastor asked, "Well, son, why did you do a thing like that?" The little boy said, "It was a promise that I made about a week before Christmas. I promised Jesus that if I got a little red wagon for Christmas, the first thing I'd do was take Him for a ride around the block, and that's exactly what I'm doing." At least this little boy was grateful for what he got.

I'm not against receiving gifts and don't have a fear of Santa Claus — which would be Claus-trophobia, I just wonder why we don't ask people, "What are you giving for Christmas?" Of course, giving itself is not the key. One father told his kids that the family down the street was poor and they didn't have any money, toys, not even a daddy or an Aunt Jane. He asked his kids what they ought to do. His son quickly replied, "Let's give them Aunt Jane." The crucial element is that giving comes out of living.

Paul received a new automobile as a pre-Christmas present. He was proud of the new car and drove it to work the next day. When he came out of work he saw a little boy just staring at the shiny new car. The boy asked, "Is that your new car, Mister?" Paul nodded, "My brother gave it to me for Christmas." The boy was astonished. "You mean your brother gave it to you? It didn't cost you anything? He just gave it to you?" Paul said, "That's right." The boy said, "I wish …," then he hesitated. Paul thought he was going to say that he wished he had a brother like that, but what stunned Paul was what the boy eventually said.

"I wish I could be a brother like that." He was so moved, he impulsively replied, "Well, kid, would you like a ride?" "Sure," he said, then asked, "Do you think you can ride by my house?" Paul thought he wanted to ride by his house to impress his friends. "Do you think you can stop by those steps over there and wait just a minute? I'll be right back." He ran up the stairs and, in a few minutes, came slowly down the steps carrying his brother who was crippled by polio. He set his brother down on the steps and said, "There she is, Buddy, just like I said. His brother gave it to him. It didn't cost him anything. Someday, just like I told you, I'm going to get you a car just like that. And you are going to see all those wonderful things out there that I've been telling you about."

This Christmas let's be a brother like that. The question is not so much what we are going to give for Christmas, but how we are going to live. I believe that if we live in the Spirit of giving we will discover that Christmas is real and that the rest of the year is pretend. Christmas will not be the miracle of 34th Street, but the miracle on your street.

    About the Author

  • Charles Lowery