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Saturday, December 15, 2007


I just looked at my calendar and saw that there are only 10 days until Christmas!

I believed in Santa Claus until eighth- yes, you read that right- grade. Eighth grade was also the year I stopped playing with Barbies after my two younger sisters made fun of me. There was a reason I believed in Santa so long. My parents are rather frugal and Santa always got us what we asked for! We would excitedly open our Santa gift and exclaim, "Mom would never buy me this! There must be a Santa!" My parents would buy us socks and hair clips and smaller, practical, not-exciting-at-all gifts. They surely would not spring for a CD player or a bicycle. Santa was real.

Believing in Santa for so long only intensified my love of the Christmas season. I would scour catalogs and dream and wish for exciting presents. I loved baking with my mom and watching Christmas movies for the entire month of December. When school finally let out before Christmas, I was probably unbearable to live with.

But then Christmas morning would come, the afternoon would drag on, and night would finally settle on our home. I vividly remember lying on my bed and feeling overwhelmingly sad. Why? I had all of my presents. I spent the day with friends and family and ate wonderful food. And now it was over! Year after year, I allowed the hype to eat away at my soul. I was consumed with want. When the highly anticipated day had come and gone, I was left, every time, feeling completely empty. I had put my hope in something temporary and I was so disappointed now that the hope had left me. What else was there?

I now get excited about the holidays, but I realize that for many people, Christmas is just a reminder of a hope deferred. Perhaps someone has lost a spouse, or child, or dream. Christmas is just a reminder of what they do not have, or who they do not have to share it with. What a sad thought.

As a Christian, however, God has revealed to me why I was trying to fill this void in me with something else. Jesus Christ is the only One that can fill that void. Instead of being hyper-excited, or melancholy about things I cannot change, I am learning to be filled with the joy of the Lord. My hope is not in things or events of this world. I have the hope of the Resurrection and of heaven. My hope lies in eternity with my Savior.

The world's Christmas can leave one feeling empty. True Christmas means that a just and holy God chose to give fallen mankind Grace when we least deserved it. He sent His perfect, holy, and only Son to this world to humbly live and die so that I could have the hope of eternal life. Glorious grace! Undeserved grace! Santa Claus,, the story benevolent spirit giving gifts to children he wants to give gifts to, mirrors the Great Story. It is the world's hollow, shallow attempt to fill the void God has left in all of mankind for Himself to fill.

This year, and every year forward, I thank the Lord for the excitement, family togetherness, and love that the Christmas season brings. I pray that I would praise Him during this happy Christmas season and also during the Christmas seasons in my life that are not as joyous as this one is. He is faithful. He is just and the one who justifies. I look to Him for my fulfillment today, tomorrow, and forever. To God be the glory!

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