Sunday, December 28, 2008

"To: Mr. Santa Claus
This is a letter to prove you do exist and you are real. If you could sign this document with your signature and have one of your raindeer hoof prints on it. X_________________________
Hoof Print Here X ______________________ "
This is the letter my grand-daughter, Kaitlyn ( she's nine years old) sent Santa Claus this year! Isn't it cute? She and her BFF were being questioned at school about their belief in whether Santa was real or not. Both parents had told the girls "he's real as long as you believe!" So Miss Kaitlyn wanted some documentation to take back to school. Her letter came back ..signed, hoof print and all.
Santa Claus, Saint Nickolas, Father Christmas and Kris Kringle! We Americans know the plump, jolly white bearded man.. wearing a red coat with a white collar and cuffs, red trousers and black leather belt and boots known as Santa Claus! This image became popular in the United States in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast. Santa Calaus is #1 in the fierce competition as an American advertisement figure. Father Christmas is more widely known in the United kingdom and Europe. Christkind is the traditional gift bringer in regions of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Hungary, parts of Hispanic America, and areas of Brazil, and even parts of Louisiana. Kris Kringle is the Americanized pronunciation and spelling of Christkind. Christkindl or Christkindel is the diminutive versions of Christkind or Belsnickel (the fur clad Santa of northwest Germany). Christkinds also are found among communities of Volga German descent (my ancestry) in Argentina! (Mike's ancestry)
The Christkind is a sprite like child usually depicted with blond hair and angelic wings sometimes referenced as a incarnation of Jesus as an infant. It is presumed to be rooted in the Alsatian-born myth of a child bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. Children never see the Christkind, as parents will always tell them that the Christkind just disappeared before they came!
So. At least we know the fable of Santa Claus, Father Christmas or Kris Kringle has been around for a long, long time! And all over the world! I think it might be safe to to say Santa is real. I've been thinking over this gift- exchanging -thing we all do at this time of year... for some years now and.. I still don't always get it! Christmas gift giving should follow what Jesus had in mind and it should mean giving of one's self in spirit, time, and love. I've come to realize that making someone happy with a material thing is somewhat self gratifying for both the giver and givee. There are so many other ways to show a person you care ...or help a person in need, without going out... spending a small fortune (or your last dollar) and worrying about buying them the best gift!!! I beleive in sharing your money by helping others ( please..there are so many that really need help) but I just don't want to forget about the things that don't cost a lot of money; just to list a few: like spending time with your own family and dear friends, (maybe making them feel special!) or sending some food over to a family to make a good meal. How about helping to solve a problem that seems so over-surmountable for just one person? Maybe giving someone a lift to a destiny they maybe couldn't otherwise get to..or just taking them for a lovely drive and catching up on some simple conversation! Inviting someone into your home for a dinner when they might otherwise be alone, or taking the time to encourage someone to continue whatever interests them at the time; or just letting someone know that they are not alone with whatever dilemma they are facing. Maybe just listening to their problems. Then, of course .. there is always the beautiful gifts of understanding and forgivance!! All of these are what God wants us to share and give. I know they are so clique!..But we all know it to be true!!! These gifts do make both giver and givee feel love and it gets the good energy flowing. Give whatever your heart tells you to get people happy and moving; people need each other, then we can pass it on, you know? I think, this kind of giving is what really counts. These are the kinds of gifts that Santa Claus, the Christkind, was meant to give! and then at this Christmas time, the time of Jesus' birth, if it's all about this spirit of giving, I'm all about Santa being real.

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