This Christmas, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to Santa Claus. Yes, Santa Claus. And for all of you who might think I am digressing to a time in my life when Mr. Claus was relevant, that is not the case. But I have thought about the jolly ole Saint Nick in relation to his symbolic meaning, and exactly where we are as a country this late in a very turbulent year. As I recall from my much younger days in the past, Santa Claus spied on all of us from his perch in the North Pole, and kept a record as to whether we had been naughty or nice. On Christmas Eve, as he loaded all the toys into his sleigh and fed the reindeer who would take him all over the world, he also reviewed the list of young folks whose chimneys he would come down and leave requested gifts, under the Christmas tree.
Using our creative imagination, let’s consider our country as one big kid who has been under surveillance by Santa and his helpers for the past twelve months. As early as January 2016, he knew there might be problems with this child. The bickering was getting out of hand, as the country prepared for what would be a nasty election. This was something that Santa did not condone. After all, he was always jovial and happy and wanted others to display the same demeanor all the time. One man in particular caught his attention. He sought the highest elected office in the country, and was willing to use bully tactics against his opponents to achieve his goal. According to Santa’s standards, he never made a stop at the homes where bullies resided.
The other person seeking the highest office wasn’t quite as bad as her opponent, but she also lacked the kind of values that Santa expected from anyone who would receive a visit from him. She often stretched the truth to cover up her misdeeds, especially with her use of emails. As of Christmas Eve, he wasn’t sure if she would get a visit from him because of the ambivalence he felt toward her.
Then there is the rest of the country, divided in support of these candidates. Both sides were willing to step outside the bounds of civility in support of their candidate. In fact, grown men often went to blows in the heat of the battle. But according to Santa Claus, it should never have been a battle, but simply an election. They all lost a sense of comity, and carried on in a manner unsatisfactory to Santa. There was a slight possibility that the old man might just skip over the United States, and keep on South into Mexico.
But on second thought, as he prepared to take off, he considered that maybe his presence could make a difference and bring peace, love, and unity back to this country, desperately in need of help. Maybe he could influence this obstreperous child to change its ways, and help the occupants of this country to understand that they all have too much to lose to carry on in this manner. Maybe his presence for just a little while, on the eve of the birth of the person who came to earth to save mankind from its own self-destruction, would make a difference in how they treat each other, going into the new year. Maybe in 2017 they would all come to their senses, and realize this selfish and vicious behavior must end.
He thought he might leave gifts of a different nature than in the past. These gifts would be for a better understanding that we all must reach out, and do what is in our power to make sure that Santa returns every year. A gift to understand that it would be cruel and deplorable for the country to repeal Obamacare and leave over twenty million men and women without health care coverage. A gift to understand that it is necessary to raise the minimum wage, so that those at the lowest rung of the economic ladder might live more prosperous lives. Instead of the top one percent hording the resources, they should be shared more equitably among all the people. Santa could remind the country that Jesus left the message, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters, you did for me.” Yes, Santa might be able to get us back on the right track, and live up to all the promises made in the United States Constitution that all men (and women) are created equal and should be treated as such. And that the values found in the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments far exceed the perceived guarantees of the Second. Maybe, just maybe Santa Claus could bring all of us back to our senses and recognize we must give, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men and women.” And we all will be better off as we head into a new year.
A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL FROM SANTA CLAUS
THE WRITER FRED AND FAMILY!