I love Christmas. This is due in large part to a plethora of wonderful holiday memories from my childhood. But of all my Christmas memories, there is one that stands out among the rest.
When I was about 5 or 6, I believed in Santa with all my heart. My beloved grandpa loved Christmas too, and got right into my anticipation of Santa and all that the holidays mean for a child. As we drove home on a snowy Christmas eve, I remember clearly his excitement as he looked out the car window and exclaimed “Joey, I see Santa!” Determined to see Santa too I quickly turned in my seat to peer out the rear window, hoping to see him too. “Where Grandpa? Where!?!?”, I remember screaming. He assured me that he had seen him, and I spent the rest of the drive home glued to the window. I knew that if my grandpa had seen him he must be real, and I was desperate for a glimpse.
A few years later I came to the realization, as all children eventually do, that Santa wasn’t real. But that truth did nothing to spoil the memory of that special moment between my grandpa and I. My beloved gramps was merely enjoying helping his favourite granddaughter (his only granddaughter) get into the spirit of the holidays! If anything I loved him more for helping me create that special memory!
Almost 30 years later, however, I am even more grateful for a completely different kind of anticipation instilled in me by my grandpa and others who have made their mark on my life. But this time my anticipation is for someone more real, more remarkable, and more amazing than any story of Santa Claus. Thanks to the faith instilled in me by my parents and grandparents, I now sit in anticipation of Jesus return. And while I will spend time this holiday season enjoying the stories and songs of Santa, I will celebrate the birth of my Saviour and Lord, and look out my window with anticipation at the promise that He is coming someday soon!