Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Reading

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

We did not teach our kids to believe that Santa brought Christmas presents.  (Note:  That's not a judgement against folks who do.  That's just what we were convicted to do.)    We always taught them that St. Nicholas was a man who lived a really, really long time ago who gave gifts to very needy folks because that's what God wanted him to do, and that we now play a game called 'Santa Claus'  to have fun surprising each other with gifts at Christmastime.

We didn't make a big deal out of it or try to convince anyone else not to teach their kids that Santa brought presents, but boy, did we catch it for not following the society on this one.  It's funny, because we caught it from both sides...from the people who thought we were robbing our kids of precious childhood memories because we did not 'do Santa', and from the folks who thought Santa was the embodiment of the secularization of Christmas and would have nothing to do with 'the guy in the red suit', because we 'played Santa' with the kids.  Whoda thought it would be such a point of contention?

But into this mix comes a lovely little Christmas read.  If you have never read Ed Butchart's the Red suit diaries, you have missed a real treat...a look at Santa from the viewpoint of someone who really understands what Santa should be all about. Ed is an elder at his church and he founded  a ministry  that repairs/ reconditions and supplies wheel chairs and other aids to folks who are in need of such things, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC).

He also happens to look an awfully lot like everyone's mental picture of Santa Claus.

Consequently, he has been a professional Santa for a number of years, and his books (there is a sequel, More Pages from the Red suit Diaries, as well) are recollections of his experiences, from the physically painful to the heartbreaking to the hysterically funny to the unbelievably precious, not only at Christmas, but year 'round.   Ed writes with honesty that is a joy to read, whether it brings tears or laughter.    And he always, always presents Santa as a servant of God and a representative of Jesus.

My mother-in-law is a collector of Santas and Santa-themed items, so when I spotted a copy of the first book several years back in a Hallmark shop, I picked it up for her. Of course, I skimmed through it a bit before I wrapped it...and the next year I bought one for myself.

I read through it every year during Advent; but really, it's not just about Santa and Christmas -- it's a great testimony of how God gives truly unique gifts and abilities to folks and how, by following Him in faith, we can put those gifts to work in unusual ways.

( one connected with Mr. Butchart or his publishers asked me to do this or even knows  I'm writing...I' m just sharing something that touched me with hopes someone else will enjoy it as much as I did.)

Merry Christmas, everyone, and thanks for spending some time with me at Beer Lahai Roi!

1 comment:

  1. Putting this on my Amazon Wish List so I don't forget for next year!! Sounds like a great family read aloud!