NOTE: This one makes one makes a beautiful
play to be done for a youth group or Sunday night
church service....




The Messages our Children Learn





Late one Christmas Eve I sank back, tired but content,
into my easychair. The kids were in bed, the gifts were
wrapped, the milk and cookieswaited bythe fireplace for
Santa. As I sat back admiring the tree with its
decorations, I couldn't help feeling that something important
was missing.


It wasn't long before the tiny, twinkling tree lights lulled me to
sleep. I don't know how long I slept, but all of a sudden I knew
that I wasn'talone. I opened my eyes, and you can imagine
my surprise when I saw Santa Claus himself standing next
to my Christmas tree. He was dressed all in fur
from his head to his foot just as the poem described
him but he was not the"jolly old elf" of Christmas legend.
The man who stood before me looked sad
and disappointed. And there were tears in his eyes."


"Santa, what's wrong?" I asked. "Why are you crying?"

"It's the children." Santa replied sadly.

"But Santa, the children love you." I said.

"Oh, I know they love me, and they love the
gifts I bring them," Santa
said, "but the children of today seem to have
somehow missed out on the true
spirit of Christmas. It's not their fault.
It's just that their parents, many
of them not having been taught themselves,
have forgotten to teach the
children."

"Teach them what?" I asked.

Santa's kind old face became soft, more gentle.
His eyes began to shine
with something more than tears. He spoke softly.

"Teach the children the true meaning of Christmas.
Teach them that the part of Christmas we can see,
hear, and touch is much more than meets the
eye. Teach them the symbolism behind the
customs and traditions of Christmas which we
now observe. Teach them what it is they truly represent."

Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a tiny Christmas
tree and setit on my mantle.

"Teach them about the Christmas tree.
Green is the second color of
Christmas. The stately evergreen, with
it's unchanging color, represents
the hope of eternal life in Jesus.
It's needles point heavenward as a
reminder that man's thoughts should turn
heavenward as well."

Santa reached into his bag again and
pulled out a shiny star and placed
it at the top of the small tree.

"The star was the heavenly sign of promise.
God promised a Savior for
the world and the star was
the sign of the fulfillment of that promise on
the night that Jesus Christ was born.
Teach the children that God
always fulfills his promises,
and that wise men still seek Him."


"Red," said Santa, "is the first color
of Christmas." He pulled forth
a red ornament for the tiny tree.
"Red is deep, intense, vivid. It is the
color of the life-giving blood that flows
through our veins. It is the symbol
of God's greatest gift. Teach the children
that Christ gave his life and
shed his blood for them that they
might have eternal life. When they see the
color red it should remind them of that most
wonderful gift."


Santa found a silver bell in his pack and
placed it on the tree. "Just as lost sheep are
guided to safety by the sound of the bell, it
continues to ring today for all to be guided to
the fold. Teach the children to follow the true
Shepherd, who gave His life for the sheep."
Santa placed a candle on the mantle and lit it.
The soft glow from its
one tiny flame brightened the room.


"The glow of the candle represents how man
can show his thanks for
the gift of God's son that Christmas Eve long ago.
Teach the children to
follow in Christ's footsteps.
To go about doing good. Teach them to let their
light so shine before men that all may see it and
glorify God.


This is what is symbolized when the twinkle lights
shine on the tree like hundreds of
bright, shining candles, each of them representing
one of God's precious children, their light shining
for all to see."


Again Santa reached into his bag and this time he
brought forth a tinyred and white striped cane.
As he hung it on the tree he spoke softly.
"The candy cane is a stick of hard white candy.
White to symbolize the virgin birth and sinless
nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock,
the foundation of the church, and the firmness of God's
promises. The candy cane is in the form of a "J" to
represent the precious name of Jesus, who
came to earth as our Savior. It also represents the
crook of the Good Shepherd,
which He uses to reach down into the ditches of the
world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep,
have gone astray. The original candy
cane had three small red stripes, which are the
stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which
we are healed, and a large red stripe that represents
the shed blood of Jesus, so that we can have the
promise of eternal life.
Teach these things to the children."


Santa brought out a beautiful wreath made of fresh,
fragrant greenery and tied with a bright red bow.
"The bow reminds us of the bond of perfection,
which is love."

"The wreath embodies all the good things about
Christmas for those with
eyes to see and hearts to understand.
It contains the colors of red and
green and the heaven-turned needles of the evergreen.
The bow tells the story of good will towards all and
its color reminds us of Christ's sacrifice. Even
its very shape is symbolic, representing eternity
and the eternal nature of Christ's love. It is a circle,
without beginning and without end.
These are the things you must teach the children."


"But where does that leave you Santa?" I asked.
The tears gone now from his eyes, a smile broke over Santa's face.
"Why bless you, my dear," he laughed, "I'm only a symbol myself. I
represent the spirit of family fun and the joy of giving and receiving.
If the children are taught these other things there is no danger that I'll
ever be forgotten."


"I think I'm beginning to understand at last." I replied.
"That's why I came," said Santa. "You're a parent. If you don't teach
the
children these things then who will?"