Dear Santa Claus,
I realize that I may sound a bit like a grinch here, but this has to be said. Let me begin by saying thank you for all the magic Christmas represented for me as a child. Believing in you made Christmas enchanting. That said, I feel that believing in you also distracted me from learning the true meaning of Christmas. While I was caught up in the pomp and circumstance of presents, and stockings, and elves, and reindeer…and you, I ignored the birth of a truly extraordinary being. I only cared about you…and the gifts I hoped you’d bring.
For years I thought you were the father of Christmas. I thought it was a holiday inspired by the giving and receiving of colorfully wrapped presents, and candy filled stockings hanging over the fireplace. Jesus was just an afterthought. And do you know why? Because you blocked my view of Him. With your red, white and black suit and your bag full of toys, you were the only thing a child like me, who coveted shiny new fire engines, bicycles and silver plated cap guns, could see. All Jesus represented to me back then was the story of a baby in a manger…nothing more. And there was more! A lot more! But He didn’t fly around the world in a sleigh, drawn by flying reindeer. He didn’t leave colorful packages under my tree, or candy in my stocking! So, on the day I should have been giving thanks to the one who gave His life for me, I was playing with my new fire engine, riding my new bike, and shooting my brothers with my new cap gun!
Jesus tried to show us what true giving was all about, but you kept waving your arms, shouting here I am! I’m Father Christmas, and I have toys and candy for you! And because of it, because a child is so easily distracted by candy canes and shiny new playthings, I missed it. I missed the greatest gift of all…hope, packaged by the most profound love ever expressed by any living being.
So while I appreciate the fire engine, the bicycle, and the cap gun, I do not appreciate you and your gifts distracting me from the truth. What is the truth? Eventually children outgrow the fire engines, bicycles and the cap guns. Eventually they rust, or break, or get lost. Because that’s just the way your gifts are. They’re transient, temporary things that, in time, are only remembered in pictures. And I’m sorry Santa, but that\\\'s all you are too. Just a jolly old fat guy whose lap I sat on, once a year, to list all my material wants. And I have the photographs to prove it.
But whether one believes in Jesus or not, the story of His journey and His sacrifice serves as an example of the true meaning of giving, the true meaning of love - for no greater love hath anyone than He who would lay down His life for a friend. The truth is Santa, no gift ever packaged in colorful wrappings has ever meant more to me than the lessons I learned from the examples set by Jesus. And I am so glad that I finally stopped listening to, and looking at you, long enough to notice Him…long enough to learn the truth. Merry CHRIST-mass Santa, and God bless.