THE VISITOR

Just a week before Christmas, I had a visitor.  This is how it happened.

I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go
to bed when I heard a noise in the front of the house.  I opened the door to
the front room and, to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out from behind
the Christmas tree.  He placed a finger over his mouth so I would not cry
out.

"What are you doing?" I started to ask, but the words choked up in my
throat.

I saw he had tears in his eyes.  His usual jolly manner was gone.  Gone was
the eager, boisterous soul we all know.  He then answered me with simple
statement.  "TEACH THE CHILDREN!"  I was puzzled -- what did he mean?

He anticipated my question and, with one quick movement, brought forth a 
miniature toy bag from behind the tree.  As I stood
bewildered, Santa said,  "Teach the children!  Teach them the old meaning of
Christmas.  The meaning that nowadays Christmas has forgotten."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before
the mantle.  "Teach the children that the pure green color of the stately
fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of
mankind.  All the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's
thoughts turning toward heaven."

He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the 
children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God
promised a Savior for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfillment of
His promise."

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE.  "Teach the children
that the candle symbolizes that Christ is the light of the world, and when
we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the
tree.  "Teach the children that the wreath symbolizes the real nature of
love.  Real love never ceases.  Love is one continuous round of affection."

He then pulled from his bag an ornament of HIMSELF.  "Teach the children
that I, Santa Claus, symbolize the generosity and good will we feel during
the month of December."

He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF.  "Teach the children that the holly plant
represents immortality.  It represents the crown of thorns worn by our
Savior.  The red holly represents the blood shed by Him."

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so
loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son ...  Thanks be to God for
his unspeakable gift.

Teach the children that the WISE MEN bowed before the holy babe and
presented him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.  We should always give
gifts in the  same spirit of the wise men."

Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the
tree.  "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds'
crook.  The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the
flock.  The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL.  "Teach the children that it
was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Savior's birth. The
angels sang, 'Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will
toward men."

Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a 
BELL.  "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of
the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold.  The bell symbolizes guidance
and return."

Santa looked back and was pleased.  He looked at me and I saw that the
twinkle was back in his eyes.  He said, "Remember, teach the children the
true meaning of Christmas, and do not put me in the center.  For I am but a
humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship Him, our Lord,
our God."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Author unknown.

                                                                           


You are cordially invited

I wish you "enough"

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