As my grandchildren and I cuddle together on Christmas Eve night and look out the window scanning the dark sky for Santa Claus, I will hug them and tell them Santa Claus is as real as the snow silently falling to the ground outside.
With great anticipation, we will sit close together and stare into the heavens searching for Santa Claus and his sleigh being pulled by flying reindeer. In my own grandfatherly way, I will tell them that Santa Claus will live forever in the hearts of those people who live their lives with compassion and love for others. That, I will tell them, is the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of Santa Claus.
Prior to Christmas Eve, I will take them shopping and find a United States Marine Corps Toys For Tots box stuffed full of toys for less fortunate kids. I will tell my grandchildren that Santa Claus put those toys in that box and that the hero warriors of the United States Marines Corps will deliver them for Santa Claus. Semper Fi.
We will stop and watch people drop their coins in the red buckets of the Salvation Army without any fanfare. I will tell them that Santa Claus lives in the hearts of those people, which is why they put their money in the Salvation Army buckets. God bless them.
I tell my grandchildren that hunters quietly go about providing hundreds of millions of hot meals of pure healthy venison for the less fortunate all across America through the Hunters Feeding the Hungry program. I will tell them that sharing the annual bounty of God’s miraculous creation with the less fortunate is as old as America and pure Christmas spirit.
In my own way, I will tell them that Americans donate millions and millions of dollars to various charities and organizations in hopes of providing a better life for someone else. I will tell them it is because of the spirit of Santa Claus that those people donate their money even when some can’t really afford to give any.
With sleeping, slobbering dogs sprawled at our feet by the fireplace, I will tell my grandkids that whenever a natural disaster happens somewhere around the world, Americans rush to the aid of those hurt ,regardless of who they are or what those people believe. That’s who Americans are.
I will tell them that far, far away there are Americans fighting evil people so that others can live free. I will tell them that they must keep these brave American military heroes and their families in their prayers each night. They are the best America has to offer. Blessed are the warriors of peace and freedom.
As we stare into the heavens waiting to spot Santa Claus, I will tell them of the time when some people knocked down some of our buildings, and that firemen and policemen rushed up the stairs of those buildings to try and save people but rushed instead into the comforting hands of God. I will tell my grandkids that those firemen and policemen who tried to save those people had the spirit of Santa Claus in their hearts.
With the fire crackling and the embers giving off a magical glow, I will make sure to tell them about the news stories I hear of unnamed, ordinary people doing extraordinary things for others. These wonderful, caring people, I will tell my grandkids, are Santa’s helpers.
Their eyes will surely grow heavy searching for Santa Claus and they will slowly drift off to sleep in my arms. I will carefully carry them to bed and tuck them beneath warm covers. Silent night. Sleep in heavenly peace.
Merry Christmas, America. Santa is alive and well in America.